Seasonal Allergies in Your Apartment? How to Cope

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Seasonal Allergies in Your Apartment? How to Cope

Eva R. Marienchild · Apr 18, 2016

allergies

So what makes for a particularly bad allergy season, and how do we allergy-proof our apartment?

What’s the Weather–Allergy Connection?

First of all, allergies can rear their heads at any point of the year. If you’re usually hit around spring time, it may be due to severe winter weather and high precipitation. It’s also the time of year when trees pollinate.

However, if you’re seeing a mild winter—not so many extremes temperature wise, etc.—you’ll not avoid your seasonal irritant. To the contrary.

You might notice that the trees start pollinating a bit sooner, which means that your allergy symptoms may flare up a bit earlier than usual.

If you’re seeing a lot of yellow streaks on your car’s window, or on the ground when you go out to walk your dog, those are telltale signs that pollen’s making an appearance.

What IS Pollen, and How Could It Make Me Sneeze and Get Itchy Eyes?

Well, it’s actually your body that’s “making” that happen–your immune system’s natural defense mechanism is responding. Now to the point about what pollen is: It’s the male reproductive cell of cone bearing and flowering plants. Pollen is dispersed–usually carried by the wind–as it attempts to fertilize with a receptive female cell. The reason that you see clouds of it is that, although only a small percentage can claim “mission accomplished”, LOTS more of it than is needed is released.

What Sort of Weather Should I Be On The Alert For…What Causes My Allergies to Flare Up?

Warm, windy, sunny and dry days will produce more pollen than usual. Rainy weather will help to wash the pollen from the air. Cold temperatures and days when there is high humidity will bring some relief.

Are There Other Sorts of Allergens?

Yep. Many allergy sufferers report that they are bothered just as easily by pet dander and dust mites as by pollen. The irritants are micro-organisms that are like red flags to your natural histamine production.

Apartment Solutions

Consider Swapping Your Carpet or Rugs for Bare Floors – If the idea of daily vacuuming doesn’t appeal, remember that allergens (pollen, dust mites, pet dander, etc.) are trapped in the fibers of these floor coverings.

Become Mr. or Ms. Clean – Whether or not you opt for a carpet-less look, take aim at those airborne micro- organisms which sometimes land on surfaces. They also accumulate in nooks and crannies, so out with that sweeper…and dust up a storm!

Do a thorough cleaning once a week and get into the habit of cleaning whatever pops up the second you spot it. Got a dog who sheds? A cat whose fur-balls adorn the wooden floor? Don’t let the loose hairs “gather moss”. Grab ‘em the second you spot ‘em. Wipe the area down with a humid paper towel.

Have roomies? Set up a strict cleaning schedule and ensure that everybody is on board as to their assigned duties and dates.

Don’t Spare The Pet Grooming – Dander is the dried cell “dropping” that pets leave when they move from place to place. It’s similar to dandruff. You may find that you carry pet dander on your clothing, and that it inhabits your bedclothes. (Yes, it’s possible that a non-pet owning individual may be host or hostess to a slew of pet dander!)

The solution is to buy a fine-toothed comb or a brush that not only removes dead skin but also untangles your pet’s hair (where dander can get caught).

Banish Dust Mites – You have got to tell the dust mites in your life to pack their bags and move. Here’s why – Have you noticed that you have a particularly bad time of it when you retire to your bedroom? Do your eyes start to get itchy or itchier? Dust mites are a probable suspect.

These little micro-organisms ARE those tiny, unswept dust pockets underneath your furniture and in your bedding. At night, when you sleep, your own body sheds dead cells, which are often to be found on pillow cases, in sheet folds, etc. Wash your pillow cases and bedding often.

If your coverlet or comforter won’t fit into your washer—or if washing these oversized covers will damage your machine—open your window and hang them out for a spell. Of course, you don’t want your laundry hanging outside of your window all day…just 20 minutes or so should make a huge difference. And don’t forget to swab your blinds and bedroom cabinets with a damp cloth or paper towel.

Stay Inside At Perilous Times – On days when pollen is purported to be rampant, be aware that sun up and sun down seem to be the most allergy-infused parts of the day. Stay inside during those times. To be safe, you might want to keep your windows closed and perhaps run the central fan or a/c until 10 or so. Then, from 5:00 on, you might want to do the same.

Stay Informed – There are a few pollen alert services on the market. Pollen.com is one. It might help you to know in advance when you should take extra precautions!

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