If you live in or near any Camden community you are probably counting the days until we can say goodbye to this brutal winter. In Dallas alone we have had 6 ice storms! I actually love cold winter days, but as I was driving to work this morning I noticed some green starting to peek out of the brown grass and some colorful flowers doing their best to bloom under a gorgeous blue sky and it made me remember just how beautiful a Spring day could…aaaacchhooo… be… sniffle, sniffle…
Excuse me! Please pardon that HUGE sneeze! Yep! While spring may be glorious to look at, my allergies go absolutely CRAZY as soon as the weather starts to warm up. Due to our roller-coaster weather the past few months, I seem to be suffering more than ever. I’ve built up such a tolerance for Benadryl that it doesn’t even make me drowsy! There are days that I literally take 4 different allergy medications just to be able to function, yet I still have to walk around with pockets full of tissue. I’m dreading spring before it has even started! Judging by the amount of sniffles I hear ringing through our office, I know I’m not alone. So what’s a poor allergy sufferer to do for the next few months? If you own your home you can rip out all of the carpet and just live with bare floors, but those of us who manage apartments generally frown upon such “home improvements”. Even though you are limited in what you can change in your apartment home, there are still plenty of easy tips to keep those sneezes at bay!
- As beautiful as the day may be, it is best to keep your doors and windows shut during allergy season. It is important to keep as much pollen as possible out of your apartment.
- Rely on your air conditioner during the spring months. They are designed to reduce the amount of humidity in your home, so it will help those who are sensitive to moisture-related spores.
- Change your A/C filter once a month. Check with your Community Office and see if they keep filters in the office that you can pick up, or put in a Work Order and someone will come to change it for you. You might also consider investing in allergen-reducing filters. They cost a bit more than regular filters, but it will help offset the amount of allergy medications you have to purchase!
- Take you shoes off at the front door. Your shoes are little sponges for all of the pollen and dust outside, and you will track all of those sneeze-inducing gems all over your apartment.
- Vacuum once a week. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to trap pet dander, dust mites and other allergens.
- Be careful when you dust. If you suffer from a dust mite allergy, hopefully someone else in your household is not as sensitive and the dusting task can be delegated to them. If that isn’t an option, use a wet cloth in order to minimize the amount of dust you scatter into the air. Make sure you clean your ceiling fan blades at least once a week. It might be a good idea to wear a dust mask while you do this task.
- Wash your sheets and use a dust-mite-proof cover on your mattress and pillows. Throw your sheets into the hottest water recommended for the material and wash them at least once a week and dry them on the highest temperature that you can in order to kill the dust mites and allergens.
- Use a mild bleach solution on your tub and shower. Dry off your bathroom as soon as you are finished with your shower and spray a mild bleach solution in order to kill any mold spores.
- Go Green. Many common household cleaners contain chemicals that can trigger asthma and allergies in people. Baking soda and vinegar will clean just as well as most commercial products and it’s better for you and the environment!
- Grow a plant. If you suffer from pollen allergies, avoid getting a flowering plant, but green houseplants help to filter your air and put oxygen back into the room. Just don’t overdo it as too many plants can contribute to moisture that fosters allergens.
Hang in there! Unfortunately there is not a quick and easy solution for keeping you and your household allergy-free this spring. However, spending a little time and energy on keeping allergens out of your home might help you enjoy the beautiful spring weather outside!