April 18, 2019/Allergies

How You Can Keep Outdoor Allergens From Coming Indoors

Expert tips from an allergist

dog having a bath

Approximately 50 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies. Whether it’s trees, grass or ragweed causing allergy symptoms, one thing is for sure ― it’s best to leave outdoor allergens … outdoors.

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Allergist Sandra Hong, MD, says one extremely common way outdoor allergens make their way inside are on our furry friends.

“If you have pets, they’re covered in the pollen. So once you bring them in, and you’re hugging on them, you’re definitely going to have pollen indoors,” Dr. Hong explains.

And if they sleep with you ― it’s like you’re bringing the tree into your home.

To keep dogs and cats from bringing outdoor pollens into your home, Dr. Hong says it’s best to bathe them regularly. It’s also a good idea to keep pets out of the bedroom at all times, and especially out of the bed.

You’re also a carrier

You might forget about it, but Dr. Hong reminds people that allergens can travel on our clothes and skin too.

So it’s wise to shower before climbing into bed to avoid spreading those allergens all over your sheets and pillows.

If you find that your eyes get very irritated during allergy season, she suggests wearing protective goggles while outdoors ― or protective eye wear ― to help keep pollens out of your eyes.

Saline sprays are your friend

To keep allergens from camping out in your sinuses, Dr. Hong recommends using a saline spray.

“One of the things I’ve really had my patients consider doing is getting some sort of saline spray ― it’s like giving your sinuses a bath,” she says. “If you actually rinse out the pollens once you’ve come into your home, they’re not going to sit in there all night long causing allergy symptoms.”

Last critical tip? Keeping windows closed during allergy season is a must for those who have an allergy sufferer in the home, Dr. Hong notes. It’s also a good idea to keep car windows shut when pollens are especially active.

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