I didn’t have seasonal allergies issues until I moved to Oklahoma, and it sometimes feels like it’s the allergy capital of the U.S.! In fact, Oklahoma City was ranked third and Tulsa 12th on the list of most challenging cities for spring allergies from The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. As a result, dealing with dust and pollen both inside and outside is a priority in the Bates house!
It’s not uncommon to start treating Oklahoma spring outdoor allergies in February if our winter doesn't bring an extended hard freeze, and 2016 was just that sort of year! So while I love a mild winter, our family often struggles with the common triggers: dust, mold, tree pollen, and grass, and the season has already started. As proof, my car and patio are currently covered in the green powder from my personal trigger: River Birch! But regardless, my family LOVES to spend time outdoors and an early spring means more time for grilling, chilling, and gardening!
Now, it’s April, and the tree pollen is in full bloom. Fully medicated with my favorite histamine blocker, I love to sit outside during this time of the year because it isn’t too hot yet, and it feels good to soak in some sun after the cold temps have passed. What I don't enjoy is sitting down on my comfortable patio cushions only to have a cloud of dust and pollen fill the air around me! So every season, I clean my patio furniture cushions to help reduce the pollen and dust from rubbing off on my clothes and causing more headaches and sneezes later.
What you need to do this cleaning tip:
- Hefty garbage bags with drawstring
- Porta-vac with hose
- An audience because kids love watching the cushions magically shrink
Other tips I love for helping reduce allergens around the house:
- The DIYNetwork says to be a smart landscaper by avoiding allergenic trees like maple (male), birch and ash (male). Instead, choose low-allergy trees like dogwood, double-flowered cherry and magnolia. Low-allergy flowers include astilbe, impatiens, hosta, scabiosa, columbine and viola.
- Houzz contributor, Laura Gaskell, suggests to, “Start a no-shoes policy and beef up doormats. Keep dust, pollen and more from entering your house in the first place by encouraging visitors to slip off their shoes at the door. Provide ample interior and exterior doormats to trap shoe muck and a basketful of slippers for guests.”
- Keep your couch pet hair free and dander down by grabbing a lint roller and wet rubber gloves to clean the cushions.
- EverydayHealth.com suggested wearing sunglasses to keep pollen out of eyes. The stylish frames will look awesome and keep allergy-sensitive eyes protected from the sunlight!
- Shower before going to bed at night so to wash off any pollen that may be hitching a ride on you hair! This way, you don’t sleep in the pollen and make allergies worse!