By Paul Blewett, National Marketing Manager, A.H.Beard
Spring has sprung. It signals the shedding of winter coats, longer days, improving weather and for many like myself, seasonal allergic rhinitis, commonly called hay fever. As spring blooms, pollen from grasses, blossoms and trees can trigger allergic reactions resulting in runny noses, watery and itchy eyes and constant sneezing, all of which keep me up at night and according to my wife, congestion causes me to snore keeping her awake too. Spring for me signals tiredness, which might explain my irritability and poor concentration.
Worse still, one in five people in Australia and New Zealand suffer from allergic rhinitis and not just during spring. Other allergens such as dust and dust mites, pet hair and mold and mildew can cause allergies all year round, severely affecting the quality of sleep that can lead to more serious issues such as heart disease, obesity, depression and anxiety.
Here are some tips to help limit your sneezing and improve your snoozing:
1. Stay indoors on high pollen days
Dry windy days and especially after storms are peak periods for air borne pollens.
2. Vacuum
Trade the lawn mower for the vacuum, preferably one with an advanced filtration system and vacuum often. Carpet piles easily trap pollens and particles, where possible replace with hard floor surfaces.
3. Plant out a low allergen garden 
Avoid wind-pollinated plants such as many of the European varieties and instead choose bird attracting plants pollinated by nectar feeders.
4. Wash
A quick shower before bedtime will wash away the pollens that can collect on your hair and skin. Wash pets regularly as they are notorious pollen carriers, and keep them out of your bedroom. Wash your sheets weekly in hot water.
5.Update your bedding
Mattresses and pillows provide the perfect conditions for dust mites to thrive. Consider an anti-dust mite cover or one of the Sensitive Choice approved A.H.Beard mattresses designed to minimise the incidence of moulds and dust mites
National Asthma Week runs from 1-7 September. For more information on allergies and asthma check out National Asthma Council Australia and Sensitive Choice.

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