If you’ve noticed your spring and summer allergies and symptoms worsening over the past few years, you’re not wrong and not alone. According to Dr. William Reisacher, an otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat specialist) at Weill Cornell Medicine, you can blame climate change. Basically, the weather stays warmer longer, with pollen levels spiking the entire time.
“We’re seeing our warm seasons expanding,” explains Dr. Reissacher in a WENY News article. “It’s going further into the wintertime on both ends. That extends the amount of time you can be exposed to pollen.”
Break out the Kleenex! Pollen count for our region running on the high side for most of the early week. Allergy sufferers beware! pic.twitter.com/8dReuN1XYV— Mike Thomas (@MikeTFox5) May 10, 2021
Fortunately, there’s several things you can do to reduce spring and summer allergies, the annoying symptoms and potential triggers inside your home. It’s a combination of tips and technology to help you stay productive, happy and healthy.
Immunotherapy to Alleviate Allergies
Otherwise known as allergy shots, immunotherapy decreases sensitivity to allergens and often results in lasting allergy symptoms relief even after treatment stops. This makes it a cost-effective, beneficial treatment approach for many people. It’s particularly helpful for those who have noticed that over-the-counter medications are no longer working.
Have you tried immunotherapy? My very allergic to pollen son has had the best year ever after a two year treatment….took Claritin for a week and that was it. (Used to to take heavier stuff morning and night with eyedrops and Flonase.) Check out United Allergy….— AngD (@AngDroz) May 8, 2021
“It really involves exposing your body’s immune system to the things it’s sensitive to on a regular basis. Traditionally that is done with an injection that is done in a doctor’s office. Now there are newer ways to do that at home, using things like liquid drops or toothpaste, that can be used to expose your body to the same things that are in allergy shots,” Reisacher said.
Leave the Allergens Outside
Minimizing trigger exposure is key. You can accomplish this by avoiding certain activities that bring pollen inside your home. These allergens include pollen, weeds, grasses, smog, molds and dust mites. Pollen is more common in the the spring, while the rest traditionally affect us most in the summer. According to WebMD, here’s what you can do:
- Don’t overwater indoor plants. This can cause mold growth (and kill the plants!).
- Avoid hanging your clothes outside to dry. While it used to be a common habit, allergens can easily stick to your moist clothes or linens.
- Change clothes and take a shower when you move from outdoors to inside. It may seem daunting and tedious to do this every time, but if you want to avoid allergies, this is the best way.
- Take your shoes off before entering the home. This is a huge source control tip! Getting into the habit of taking shoes off, that is year-round, allows fewer pollutants to spread indoors. Leaving your shoes outside or taking them off at the door prevents allergens from entering the space.
- Close windows before you go to bed. Why? Average pollen counts are actually highest between 5:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.
Combat Spring and Summer Allergies with Indoor Air Technology
Your home should be a haven, free from allergens and air pollutants that affect indoor air quality. The thing is, whenever we open a door or window, or go outside and come back in, allergens attach themselves and then spread in our indoor air. This is where IAQ technology and control solutions come into play to save the day. Here’s a brief description of what they are and how they help:
Central IAQ Monitor to Track Indoor Air Pollutants
The Haven TZOA Central Air Monitor is the only in-duct air quality monitor on the market. It efficiently tracks home humidity levels, PM2.5, allergens and other pollutants throughout the entire home by monitoring the “arteries,” or ductwork of your home’s HVAC system. The data is sent to both your smartphone and the HVAC contractor or IAQ expert who installed it, to constantly track and improve your home’s IAQ.
Humidity Control to Stop Allergens from Thriving
Keeping relative humidity levels between 40-60% is important to keep your body from having allergic reactions. Every home is different, so there’s no one solution. Some homes need a whole-home humidifier, others should have a dehumidifier. We break down the systems here. After a thorough assessment of your home, an IAQ or HVAC expert will determine which system your home needs. Humidity control also helps ensure dust mites, mold, germs, allergens, and other biological contaminants can’t thrive in your home.
Purification to Reduce Spring and Summer Allergies
For the allergens that inevitably make their way into the home, have a solution in place to eliminate them. An active air purification system, like the DustFree Active Air Purifier is a great option. It installs directly into the HVAC system to provide clean air in every room of your home.
Filtration to Capture Allergens Circulating in Your Space
Also consider having your local HVAC or IAQ expert assess the HVAC system to determine the highest air filter capacity for your home. That is, the highest MERV-rated air filter the HVAC system can accommodate. It’s the first line of defense against allergens! Upgrade filters to capture contaminants in the filter before they end up affecting your home and health. MERV-13 air filters are recommended.
A good air filter can not only improve your space's #IAQ … it can create a healthier indoor environment and reduce allergy symptoms! For all #allergy sufferers, we know how helpful that is. https://t.co/u54IvgN1hH— IAQ Works | #HealthyIndoors (@IaqWorks) April 30, 2021
Mechanical Ventilation to Filter Fresh Air Coming In
Bring fresh air into your home without the need to open windows or doors. Mechanical ventilation filters the fresh air coming in, while exhausting stale, polluted air that builds up in your home. Fortunately, there’s a solution for every large home, small studio and everything in between.