Spring is here again and while for some it’s time to enjoy the warmer weather and longer days, for those of us who suffer from allergies it signals the beginning of sneezing and sniffing your way through yet another season.
While spring may be a trigger for many, one in five people in Australia and New Zealand suffer from allergic rhinitis hay fever all year round. Other allergens such as dust, dust mites, pet hair or mold and mildew can cause equally as crippling reactions. This can severely affect quality of sleep that can lead to more serious issues such as heart disease, obesity, depression and anxiety down the track.
So what’s the best way to avoid allergy triggers and ensure you’re sneeze-free? We’ve got some handy tips to help limit your sneezing and improve your sleep.
Be wary of the weather:
Thunderstorm asthma has been especially prevalent recently. For those at risk, where possible, it’s best to avoid being outside during thunderstorms during the grass pollen season – especially in the wind gusts that come before the storm. Go inside, close your doors and windows and if you have your air conditioner on, turn it to recirculate.
Spring clean your home and your mattress!
Creating a healthy home can help you and your family breathe cleaner, fresher air and hopefully reduce allergic reactions or allergy-related asthma episodes. Make sure you vacuum household areas often and wipe down surface areas with natural solutions to reduce allergens.
While you may think to clean your home to rid it of allergy triggers, don’t forget your mattress, bedding and pillows! We come into contact with our bed every day but most don’t stop to think of the allergy triggers lurking within. 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 eliminate mould, dust mites and other allergens. It’s recommended to wash your sheets weekly in hot water to rid bedding of pollen or allergy triggers and vacuum your mattress monthly.
Wash triggers away:
Showering before bed is a good way to prepare your body for rest but will also wash away the pollens that may collect in hair and skin. If you’re a pet owner it’s a good idea to wash pets often as pollens may also settle in their fur, and keep pets out of the bedroom to avoid allergy disturbance while you sleep.
*National Asthma Week runs from 1-7 September. For more information on allergies and asthma check out National Asthma Council Australia and Sensitive Choice.
Breath Better September (1-30 Sept), New Zealand’s national movement to support better breathing and healthy lungs.