Wondering how to go outside with allergies while still avoiding symptoms? Here are five simple tips and tricks to help keep reactions to outdoor allergy triggers under control.
1. Plan outdoor activities around pollen levels.
Checking daily pollen counts and forecasts and staying indoors when pollen levels are highest (generally between 10AM and 5PM) can help minimize outdoor allergy symptoms. While pollen counts can vary depending upon the time of year, the weather, and other factors, try to focus your time outdoors in the early morning when they’re usually lowest.
2. Keep your home clean to help keep allergens out.
Using an air filter to help maintain indoor air quality and keeping your windows closed during the day will help prevent outdoor allergens from coming inside. Installing machine washable curtains and washing them often will also help minimize dust and allergens from collecting. Other tips include mopping your floors regularly and using a vacuum with a high-efficacy particulate air (HEPA) filter on carpets and rugs to ensure that allergens are minimized. Learn more about other places where allergens can be found in your home here.
3. Change your clothes, shower and wash your hair to help remove allergens.
Once you’re done with your outdoor fun, put your clothes in the laundry basket, take a shower and wash your hair. This helps reduce the allergens you bring into your home by cleansing them from your body. It’s also a good practice to shower before bed, keeping allergens out of your bedding. If you happen to suffer from nighttime allergies often, find more tips on how to help minimize and prevent them here.
4. Keep your furry friends groomed, too.
Pets, including cats and dogs, can carry pollen and mold on their coats, so bathing and grooming our furry friends can help keep allergen levels down. If your pet enjoys time outdoors, keeping them off your bed or out of your bedroom will help minimize both outdoor and pet allergens.
5. Track your allergens using a journal or an app.
The Mayo Clinic recommends keeping an allergy diary. Using an app such as Zyrtec® ALLERGYCAST® to keep track of your activities and daily symptoms – including the time of day when symptoms occur and what helps lessen them – can help your doctor identify your triggers and help you better manage your symptoms.