About 40 million people get seasonal allergies each year and suffer from stuffy nose and watery eyes thanks to tree, grass, and weed pollen, mold spores, dust mite and cockroach allergens, and cat, dog, and rodent dander. Besides common allergy symptoms these allergens can cause life-threatening asthma attacks if not kept at bay. Your home air conditioning system can be an important part of providing allergy relief through using the right air filters for allergies.
Here are some ways to control your seasonal allergies before they start:
- Treat Allergies Early: If you take medications for seasonal allergies you should start taking them before your symptoms strike. “Allergies create an inflammatory response that is like a smoldering fire. If you can keep it smoldering rather than flaring, you’ll do a lot better. By starting your medications early, you’re less likely to have a snowball effect with your symptoms,” says James Sublett, MD, FACAAI, section chief of pediatric allergy at the University of Louisville School of Medicine.
- Know your OTC Allergy Medications: The three main kinds of over-the-counter (OTC) medications are used to help control seasonal allergies are topical nasal sprays, inhaled corticosteroids, and antihistamines, oral antihistamines, and decongestants. Most allergy symptoms can be relieved with nasal sprays and oral OTC antihistamines. Sublett warns against using OTC decongestants for allergies saying, “they’re designed for use with a cold, for seven days or less, while allergies last for weeks.” He says that nasal decongestants should be taken on a short-term basis only. “If used for more than a week, a disorder called rhinitis medicamentosa may occur, where rebound nasal congestion (when congestion returns and gets worse) occurs each time the medication wears off. Also, oral decongestants can cause significant side effects, including an elevation in blood pressure, nervousness, and sometimes heart palpitations.” Sublett advises that if you have high blood pressure, glaucoma, or heart conditions, you should talk to your doctor first before trying decongestants.
- Control Allergies by Controlling Your Environment: The time of day greatly affects the amount of pollen in the air. Before going out to do yard work, check the pollen count and wear a facemask if you feel the need. Get a high-efficiency air conditioning filter and change it in the spring and again in early summer. When in your car, keep the windows closed and keep the A/C on recirculate to reduce the allergens in your car.
For the best air filter to fight allergens, we recommend the PureAir™ Filter by Lennox. This system uses UVA-light to attack and rid the air of particles such as dirt, dust, pollen and allergens, airborne spores like mold, mildew and bacteria, odors and chemical vapors, and the pollutant ozone, leaving the air in your home fresh and free of impurities. Read more about the Lennox PureAir Filter by clicking here.
We hope that this information helps you fight back allergens this spring and summer.
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