Just when you’re ready for warmer weather and sunshine and you want to open up all the windows in the house to air everything out, you or your loved ones are hit with the dreaded seasonal allergies! They seem to be really bad this year. Hoping you find some relief with this post!
Check the Forecast
Did you know they actually have a forecast for pollen? It’s true! Check it out and know before you head out for the day what you’re in for. It might just mean you reschedule plans to go to the park for something indoors instead during peak hours. I know it’s not ideal but there is definitely better and worse times to be outside. Avoid needless suffering by planning your day around peak pollen times. You can check your local pollen forecast at The Weather Network.
Timing is Everything
There are peak times of day when pollen is at its worst. These times are usually early morning and late evening. That being said, weather and other factors can come into play and the pollen could be an issue anytime throughout the day. Not very helpful, I know. We do notice however that our daughter seems to suffer the worst in the mornings.
Keep the Outside Out
This unfortunately means keeping windows CLOSED throughout the allergy season. Use air conditioning and keep the fan for your central air system on continuously rather than on automatic. This keeps the air moving throughout your house and improves indoor air quality. Make sure you have a good filtration system for your furnace. For more tips on indoor air quality read my previous post: Indoor Air Quality: Have you checked the ingredients in your air?
This advice also extends to car trips. Our daughter instantly suffers when we open the windows in the car during high allergy season. Keep ’em closed.
Pollen is sticky business and will adhere to clothing, hair, etc. The best way to keep it out of your home is to change out of outdoor clothing, shower (not bath) including washing hair, and then change into fresh indoor clothes or pajamas. This prevents allergens and pollens from being tracked into the home and into your bed. Ideally we want the bedroom to be a sanctuary for us to recover from exposure to our allergens through out the day. Definitely keep the bedroom windows closed, the room clean and eliminate other allergens such as dust as much as possible. Wash bedding and any stuffed animals frequently in the hottest water possible to kill dust mites. Damp dust your bedroom rather than dry dusting to prevent dust from flying around and simply resettling. Vacuum rather than sweep for the same reason. Hardwood floors or laminate are preferable to carpet. If you have carpet avoid steam cleaning or anything else that gets moisture into the carpet as mould can grow.
Give your Body a Break
During peak allergy season it can help to give your body a break by eating an anti-inflammatory diet. Certain foods have been found to encourage inflammation and mucous in the diet. Taking a break from these foods for now can help ALOT. Here are some of the ones that may be helpful to avoid for now:
- Dairy (Milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream)
- Refined sugar
- Melon (cantaloupe or honey dew – watermelon is fine)
- Citrus Fruits (orange, grapefruit, lemon)
- White potatoes
- Refined flour
- Trans fats and Saturated fats
- Sulphites (found naturally and as additives in food and a common allergen)
- Highly processed and artificial foods
You may notice that your child is more sensitive or newly sensitive to foods that don’t normally bother them at this time. We have found this occurs sometimes with fruits and vegetables that our kids normally eat without incident and all of a sudden now they are complaining of an itchy throat or sneezing. They are hypersensitive during this time and very reactive. Eliminate any foods that are a problem for now and revisit them once you are out of this seasonal allergy time. Always talk to your doctor if you are concerned that your child has developed a new or increasingly severe allergy.
It’s also a good time to take a break from wearing perfumes or having additional fragrances such as candles, incense or other irritants around at this time. Smoking, pet dander and chemical cleaning products such as Window Cleaning Sprays are other known irritants. Give yourself a break as much as you can by avoiding exposure to these.
Meditate and Medicate
Try to keep stress levels down as much as possible. Stress and over-excitement causes allergies to worsen. Keep calm and get through this season! We give our daughter Benadryl to help her through this time when she is really suffering.
My heart goes out to all of you suffering right now. I used to have really bad seasonal allergies and thankfully seem to have outgrown them. I believe that my clean eating diet and healthy lifestyle have contributed to this improvement. I hate to see my children suffering this way!
Hope this was helpful!