Help! I’m Allergic to Spring
Spring has arrived. It's time to open up your doors and windows and let the fresh air circulate through your home and office. Get rid of your winter coats, put on your slip slops, and start being more active outside.
Being Allergic to Spring
We can all agree that we love that the weather is warmer and we can spend more time outside. The longer days present opportunities to enjoy long afternoon walks in the park to see beautiful flowers in bloom. But unfortunately for some, blooming flowers are a cause for concern as they represent a time of heightened allergies. The tiny pollen grains can throw your body's defences into overdrive when your immune system recognises them as a threat and begins to create substances such as histamine to combat the pollen. Add in microscopic mould spores, which can cause or aggravate asthma symptoms, and springtime no longer appears to be such a pleasant occasion.
Spring allergies can be a nuisance. They are triggered by the release of pollen from trees, flowers, and grass, as well as the presence of increased mould spores, which begin to increase as the temperatures rise. They are also like clockwork. Occurring at the same time every year and lasting for as long as the allergen is in the air, from hours to weeks and even months. Symptoms can range from sneezing, a runny or stuffy nose, and watery, itching nose and eyes, through to possible ear congestion and postnasal drip.
What other allergens could be at play?
With all that said, your allergy symptoms may not be caused by the beautiful blooms. If you find that you have an allergic reaction after you’ve made your bed in the morning or after opening your curtains, you may be reacting to something else. During winter, dust may have settled around your home as your windows were closed and there was decreased ventilation. And dust attracts dust mites. Dust is mostly made of dead skin cells, soil, pollen, pet dander, tiny plastic particles, bacteria, hair, and fabric fibres. The more dust you have, the more likely dust mites are going to accumulate in your home, as dust mites love to eat the skin cells that collect in dust and settle in areas in your home such as couches, carpets and your bed. Dust mites can cause symptoms that mimic seasonal allergies.
Another possible cause of irritation during spring is pet dander. As the weather warms, our beloved fur babies shed their shaggy winter coats. With your immune system trying to adjust to the increased pollen in the air, adding pet dander to the mix can increase your allergic reaction.
Some steps you can take to find relief from your symptoms:
Conduct a Spring Clean
A good old-fashioned spring clean is a great way to prepare your home for the warmer weather ahead and to reduce the allergens present in your house. When conducting a deep clean of your home, be sure to ventilate well. Many household cleaning products are a source of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are bad for your health. Breathing in VOCs can irritate your eyes, nose, and throat and cause difficulty breathing and nausea. If possible, choose cleaning products that are less toxic and contain reduced amounts of VOCs, and be sure to follow the instructions on the bottle.
Spring cleaning will help to improve your indoor air quality by removing any dust and particles from your living spaces, and it is an opportunity to air out any damp areas where mould has the potential to grow.
Use an Air Purifier
Once your house has been cleaned, you can maintain your indoor air quality by using an air purifier with a HEPA filter. A HEPA filter is able to trap particles in the air that traditional air filters miss, creating a cleaner and healthier environment for you and your family. They are especially beneficial to allergy and asthma sufferers.
An air purifier will help to cut down on indoor allergy symptoms caused by pollen, mould, and dust. Spring is a good time to consider replacing your air purifier’s filters so that your devices work optimally. Dirty and clogged air filters can put a strain on the air purifier’s system. Most filters have a 6-to-12-month lifespan, but this will vary depending on the climate, room size, and the amount of activity that takes place in the room. You should get in the habit of routinely checking the filter change indicator on your device or changing your air filters regularly. A healthy, clean and unclogged filter is an easy way to improve indoor air quality.
Use a dehumidifier
Depending on where you live, spring can also be a time of increased rainfall and humidity. Using a dehumidifier in your home will ensure your indoor humidity levels are kept at an optimal level, reducing the presence of mould and mildew, as well as dust mites and other common allergy triggers.
It’s great that you’ve conducted a thorough spring cleaning of your home, but to really benefit from it, you need to make it a routine. Frequent vacuuming, washing linen, towels, and clothing, as well as cleaning surfaces and furniture, will help to remove allergens and indoor pollutants.
Close your windows
Although this isn’t what you want to do now that the weather has warmed up it will help to ease your allergy symptoms. Check your weather forecast to monitor the pollen situation in your area and close your doors and windows when pollen levels are on the rise.
The Solenco range of air purifiers have received the Allergy Foundation of South Africa's Seal of Approval. They help to prevent allergies, improve sleep, and relieve asthma with their multi-stage air cleaning system. They are equipped with medical grade H13 HEPA filters as well as antiviral filters, which are effective at reducing SARS-CoV-2 infection. The filters have a change indicator, so you know exactly when it is time to replace them for optimal air purification in your home and office.
If you would like more information or advice on getting the right air purifiers or dehumidifiers for your home, get in touch.