Poor little Allie has season allergies. All spring and all fall, she has a stuffy, runny nose, itchy eyes, and a cough caused by the gunk running down the back of her throat. It lingers for months.
After going through allergy tests with Grace only to have inconclusive results, I do not want to subject Allie to the torture. We'll just deal with the symptoms and minimize the allergens as much as possible.
Here are a few ways that we're doing it:
- I love to have the windows and doors open, but they let in pollen that gets Allie's symptoms all stirred up. It's a lot better for her if we keep theÃ‚ windows and doors shut and run the air conditionerÃ‚ on days when pollen is high.Ã‚ On days when pollen is low (during and just after a rain, in particular), we can open the windows and let the breeze in, but otherwise, keeping the pollen outside is key.
- Dust then vacuum after you've had the windows open. Pollen lingers on the surfaces and stuff in your home, so dusting knocks a lot of it off onto the floor. If you vacuum afterward, you'll pull a lot of it up and out of the space.
- Keep the bedroom uber clean.Ã‚ You and your children spend at least ⅓ of your lives in bed, so make sure the bedrooms are as allergen-free as possible. For us, that means removing stuff that can hide pollen like dirty clothes, dusting and vacuuming more often, washing the sheets, blankets,Ã‚ and pillowsÃ‚ at least once a week.
- Change your Filtrete furnace filters more often. Allergens of all kinds - pet dander, mold spores, dust mites, and pollen - get trapped in your furnace filter, and the dirtier you allow it to get, the more of those things are pushed back through your home. Changing the filter every other month or every third month also keeps your furnace working at its peak efficiency.
- Take a showerÃ‚ and wash your hair when coming in from outside.Ã‚ If you mowed the lawn, you would take a showerÃ‚ when you're finished, to wash off all the lawn clippings and dirt the mower stirred up, right? The same goes for our kids when they're playing outside. They get covered in dirt and pollen, so getting a quick rinse in the shower prevents allergens from being introduced into your home.
- Bathe your pets oftenÃ‚ if they go outside. Your pets are probably bringing in more pollen than you and your kids, just because they're rolling around on the ground and covered with hair. It's not practical to bathe themÃ‚ every time you take themÃ‚ outside, but if you have a family member with seasonal allergies, you should consider investing in some washing wipes that you can use to at least wipe theirÃ‚ fur off when theyÃ‚ come in from outside.
- Use a neti pot. Obviously, we have never done this to Allie. But when Joe and I have little allergy flare ups (especially Joe since he's mildly allergic to the cats), we use our little blue neti pot to rinse out our sinus passages and get the allergens out of there. Along the same line, our pediatrician recommends a tiny spritz of salt water up Allie's nose when she comes in. She hasÃ‚ neverÃ‚ willingly participated in this, so we don't forceÃ‚ it, but I know that it would help rinse some of the pollen out.
- Get some (pollen-free) plants.Ã‚ Our house is loaded with plants because plants clean and filter the air. Be aware that plants with flowers can cause more pollen (though houseplantsÃ‚ aren't generally highly allergenic), so stick with easy to care for varieties like palms, ferns, ivies, and spider plants. Dracaena, ficus, andÃ‚ sansevieria (also known as snake plant, bird nest plant, or mother in law's tongue) are also interesting, easy to care for, and air-filtering.
- Treat the symptoms.Ã‚ Treating the symptoms doesn't have to mean taking drugs; many natural remedies will rid you of symptoms without drugs.
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I am a Filtrete Brand blogger ambassador and was compensated for this post, but all opinions, tips, and selection of additional products used in this project are my own.