It seems no matter the season, many people have to deal with allergies and asthma. According to Lung.org, pollen is the most common asthma and allergy offender. If you have an allergy to pollen, it can lead to sneezing and difficulty breathing. Allergic reactions can also cause unpleasant symptoms in your nose, lungs, throat, sinuses, and even your stomach’s lining.
However, you can do things to reduce the impact of allergies and asthma on your life. If you follow our tips below, you soon will be able to get on with your everyday life activities like normal:
Find Out Your Outdoor Air Quality Each Day
If you plan to engage in physical activities outside, remember to check the air quality before you head outdoors. Be aware of high pollen counts and other triggers. The air quality outside affects us all and can be especially challenging for people who have asthma. Remember, asthma is a serious condition that respiratory therapists receive regular training to deal with, so it is a condition you should take seriously. You can use this EPA website to check the air quality in your area each day.
Perform Proper Garden and Lawn Maintenance
Before you start working in your yard, see what the local pollen count is. See if you can garden in the early morning or when pollen counts are lower. Note that fertilizers and freshly cut grass can make your asthma symptoms worse. As you work in your yard, think about wearing a particle mask to not breathe in particles that trigger your asthma.
Beware of Bug Sprays
Bug spray and citronella candles can keep away the mosquitos, but they can make your asthma worse. It is recommended to stay at least six feet away from strong-smelling candles. If you use an insect repellant, try lotions that do not have any scent. Avoid sprays.
Also, empty any flower pot liners that hold water, wear a shirt with long sleeves, and wear socks when you go outside. It also is smart to remain indoors at sunrise and sunset when mosquitoes are active.
Take Your Medications
Reducing your exposure to allergy and asthma triggers will help, but you cannot eliminate all contact from things that cause you problems. Always make sure you have your controller and preventive medications ready, even if you feel fine. If you have asthma, keep your fast-relief medicine within reach in case you have an attack.
On the same note, remember to talk to your doctor. Ensure you keep them up to date if you are having trouble with your asthma or allergy symptoms. If asthma problems are common in the spring, talk to your medical care professional about allergens tests. These tests can be performed with a skin prick or blood test. Allergy testing can pinpoint your triggers, and your doctor can help you find out what makes your symptoms worse.
Download an Allergy Tracking App to Your Smartphone
Checking several weather and allergy forecasts each day can be easy to forget. But there are several excellent Android and iPhone apps that you can download to have allergy forecasts right at your fingertips.
Pollen.com has a good app for both platforms called Allergy Alert that informs you about pollen levels in your community. You can enter several locations and receive accurate five-day forecasts with detailed information about the most common pollen types you may have.
The Allergy Alert app also contains an allergy diary where you can note your symptoms each day. Keep track of how your allergies evolve over the seasons. Even print out the journal as a calendar or chart to help you and your medical professional keep track of symptoms over time.
Many asthma patients find these apps to help manage their symptoms and avoid asthma attacks altogether.
Make Your Home Allergy Proof
Your HVAC system at home has an air filter that must be changed or cleaned regularly. Some air filters only need to be changed every season. However, others should be changed every 60 days.
Note that some air filters are much better at filtering out allergens than others. Most air filters you buy have a MERV rating; this is a standard rating that tells you the sort of particles a filter can eliminate.
A low MERV rating is a lower-quality air filter, while a high MERV rating indicates a higher-quality filter. Allergy and asthma sufferers should always buy a hypo-allergenic filter that will catch tiny allergens, such as mold spores and pollen.
Buy an Air Purifier
Having a top HVAC air filter will boost your indoor air quality. But you can make it even better by buying a mechanical air purifier. These devices feature several filters and sometimes UV light to remove allergens from your inside air more effectively than an HVAC filter by itself.
Air purifiers come in many sizes and qualities. The kind you get depends on you. A small, portable air purifier can work well for a bedroom, or you can get a whole-house purifier that is hooked up to your home’s HVAC system.
Some purifiers work better than others. You should look for air purifiers that have been certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Having an air purifier with this certification means it is useful in filtering allergens from the air.
HEPA filters are thought to be the best high-quality air purifiers. They are the gold standard for all mechanical air filtration devices. They feature several filtration steps and screen out 99.97% or more airborne particles that are .3 microns or larger.
The Bottom Line
Asthma and allergies can cause considerable problems for people who suffer from them. However, there is plenty of good news these days as there are many things you can do to improve your life to live with allergies and still enjoy life’s daily activities.