5 Tips to Stay Ahead of Allergy Season  

Author: Rahim Haikal, M.D., F.A.A.F.P., Family Medicine, Kelsey-Seybold Clinic – Katy

Allergy season is in full swing, and for those who suffer from allergies, even the most beautiful spring day is diminished by the symptoms of what may seem like an endless allergy season in the Greater Houston area.

However, there are ways to make seasonal allergies less taxing on individual sufferers.

Track Pollen Reports

Keeping an eye on pollen levels is one of the keys to preparing for seasonal allergies. Many local television stations offer pollen reports as part of their weather segments. Alternatively, those seeking pollen counts may track them on smartphone weather apps or online on weather websites. Understanding the risk for exposure to allergens on any given day may help sufferers plan for outdoor activities.

Spring Cleaning

Removing dust and pollen that has already made its way into the house helps reduce exposure to allergens in the home. Dusting fan blades, windows, and light fixtures, sweeping out the garage, and maintaining a clean household helps reduce the pollen and spores that cause allergy symptoms. Cleaning out the garbage disposal, as well as other wet areas such as the shower, bathtub, or sinks, may help reduce exposure to mold spores. Lastly, changing indoor air filters may help reduce the allergens in the air.  If you suffer from allergies, consider wearing a mask – and maybe even protective eye wear if the task is particularly dusty – when undertaking these cleaning projects.

Prepare for the Day Ahead

Allergens are sneaky and may ferry a ride home on hair, especially if the hair has been treated with styling products such as hairspray. For allergy sufferers who typically wear contact lenses, wearing eyeglasses instead on high pollen count days may help reduce the amount of pollen irritating the eyes.

Hygiene Habits

If an allergy sufferer spends time outside on a high-pollen-count day, showering quickly after returning home may help reduce exposure and may even help prevent the pollen stuck to clothes, shoes, and hair from transferring to furniture and home textiles like carpets and bed sheets.