22 Weeks of Summer: Post #1 – Don’t Sneeze at Spring Allergies

If you don’t have spring allergies (or have never developed them), consider yourself a lucky person!

Plenty of people in the central Pennsylvania area suffer each spring from a wide variety of spring allergies, most related to one (or a combination) of the following triggers:

  • Ragweed
  • Tree Pollens (e.g., elm, hazelnut, maple, poplar, hackberry, red cedar)
  • Grass Pollens (e.g., Bermuda grass)

How bad can it get in our region? According to WebMD’s site, in 2010, Philadelphia (#6), Allentown (#19) and Scranton (#32) were listed as just a few of the country’s top Spring Allergy Capital cities.

It’s enough to make you cry… and sneeze… and reach for some Claritin.

Of course, when you know that you have allergies, you also know that you have to find ways to discover relief. And part of that relief can be accomplished by making a few changes to your indoor atmosphere.

For instance, if you don’t have an air conditioning system in your home, it may be a wise idea to invest in one. We know how wonderful it can be to let the air flow through your house via open windows and screened-in doors, but it can be tough on you physically.

While air conditioning window units are definitely options, they may not be enough to keep your house cool. Therefore, we suggest looking into an air conditioner unit that will make use of your current ductwork. If you have no ductwork, you can try out a ductless unit (perfect for those Cape Cod style homes that are so prevalent in the Harrisburg, Carlisle, Camp Hill and Hershey areas.)

Beyond making your house air-tight, you can also clean out your ducts (or have a professional do it for you.) That way, you won’t be blowing pollens, mildew and dust particles every time your air conditioning unit starts.

Another great piece of advice is to wash your clothing, bed sheets and towels more often. Yes, you’ll use water (although you can probably do it in cool or cold water rather than warm or hot, making it less work for your water heater), but you’ll feel much better. Remember – every time you come into the house, you’re bringing allergens with you. Yuck! (You may want to even keep your shoes, such as sneakers, in an alcove or garage.)

Finally, if you have pets that go outside (e.g., indoor/outdoor cats, dogs), bathing them periodically will help keep the indoor pollen count down. (Warning: Wear gloves when washing a cat that’s not declawed! Most are very, very unhappy about the prospect of being dipped in warm water.)

By being pragmatic, you can ensure that your allergies will be kept to a minimum. That should save you some physical discomfort, as well as the cost of all those boxes of tissues!

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