6 Tips to Stay Allergy-Free This Spring
By DR. SUSANNE BENNETT
If you’re one of the tens of millions of Americans who suffer from pollen allergies, you know that even a quick run or walking the dog can mean itchy eyes and a runny nose.
Luckily, there are some steps you can take to minimize your exposure to pollen. Here are six all-natural tips for folks prone to pollen allergies but love to be outdoors.
1. Time Your Workouts
Pollen concentration is highest from just before sunrise to about 10:00 a.m. and in the early evening. Take advantage of the extra daylight hours by working out later in the evening or see if you can use your lunch break for a run. Or hit the gym for those days with especially high pollen counts. Check out your local pollen counts at pollen.com.
2. Keep more than one set of workout wear ready at all times.
As soon as you get back from the workout, put your exercise clothes in the hamper and take your shoes off to keep from spread pollen around the house. Wash your workout clothes as soon as possible.
Keep another set of workout clothes in your car, and you'll be ready to hit the gym at a moment's notice. After working out, put your gear in a plastic bag to keep your gym bag pollen-free.
3. Hit the “Recirculate Air Button” in Your Car
Ever use the recirculate air button (it looks like a car with a circulating arrow) in the car? Pollen, car exhaust and dirt can get into your car even with the windows closed. You can keep pollen, dust and other contaminants out of your car with just a push of a button!
3. Cleanse Your Nose
When it’s pollen season, take a shower after being outdoors and during your rinse, clean out your nose with a neti pot. Neti pots with saline water allow you to rinse out your sinuses and nasal passages where pollen and airborne particulates build up. They’ve been used for thousands of years as a natural remedy for clearing nasal congestion and keeping your breath flowing.
TIP: The FDA recommends using sterile or distilled water, NOT tap water, which can contain bacteria and other organisms that can cause serious infection.
4. Wear Glasses Instead of Contacts
Did you know that tiny particles, like pollen, can get under your contact lenses and irritate your eyes? To prevent itchy and watery eyes, flush your eyes out using a glass eye cup and an all-natural saline eye-wash formula from your local drugstore. Make sure the formula doesn’t have artificial chemicals or preservatives -- these can cause irritation and redness, too.
5. Wear Natural Fibers
Wear clothing made from natural fibers instead of synthetics when going outdoors. When synthetics rub against each other, their electrical charge actually attracts more pollen. Your daily run could turn into an electrical storm of allergies!
6. Invest in a HEPA Filter
Get sound, allergy-free sleep with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate absorption) air filter. Just because you've avoided pollen as much as possible doesn't mean that some won't find its way back home with you. A properly sized purifier going while you sleep will circulate the air at least two to three times per hour in your bedroom. And don't forget to keep your windows closed!
TIP: When shopping for an air filter, make sure it’s not “HEPA-type” or “HEPA-like.” These are imitations that don’t meet government standards for HEPA quality, which filters out even the smallest of particles.
Readers — Do you suffer from allergies? Do you find these tips helpful? Are there any of your favorite tips that we missed? Leave a comment below and let us know!
Dr. Susanne Bennett has been promoting vibrant, natural health over for 24 years. She is the founder of the Wellness for Life Center in Santa Monica, California. As one of the country's leading natural allergy specialists, she believes that everyone can regain their energy, vitality, and optimum health by honoring the body's innate healing powers. Dr. Bennett also wrote a free e-book available here: 11 Surprising Facts About Allergies.