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Ahh, spring. The sun is shinin’, the birds are chirpin’, the bees are buzzin’ and your nose is red from all that sneezin’. Allergy season is here once again, which means it’s time to buy more eye drops and stock up on some extra soft tissues. Approximately 1 in 5 Americans suffer from seasonal allergies. Are you among them?

The ABCs of Allergies

Seasonal allergies are more than just a nuisance; they can make some people downright miserable. Sneezing, congestion, runny noses and other cold-like symptoms are just a few of the maladies allergy sufferers endure.

Most allergies stem from pollen. In other words, the coarse, yellowish powder that comes from flowers, trees, and other plants. If you’ve felt like allergy season has been getting worse every year, that’s because it is. Year-over-year cases show pollen counts are increasing.

Tips to Help Nip Your Allergies in the Bud

Because pollen is the main cause of seasonal allergies, reducing your exposure to and around pollen-producing plants should be your M.O. But, if you’re like the millions of other Americans who are literally surrounded by plants, trees and the like, that won’t likely be an option.
Here are a few out-of-the-box tips:

  1. Start treating your allergies early. Pollen season starts early, and in some states may start as early as January and last until November. Being proactive and taking the right medications beforehand will help make allergy season a breeze.
  2. Take your shoes off. The key to keeping your allergies under control is lessening the amount of pollen you’re exposed to. Taking your shoes off at the door will help limit the amount of dust you bring into the home—plus it’ll help keep your home a little cleaner.
  3. Keep your windows and doors closed. One of the best parts about spring is the ability to leave your windows open without having to crank the heat or use the AC. Unfortunately, while open windows are a welcome alternative to winter, exposing yourself to all that open air and dust is a definite no-no. The same goes for your car.
  4. Reduce the humidity in your home.  Pollen thrives in areas with high humidity, so lessening the amount around your home may help keep your seasonal sneezes at bay. Dehumidifiers are great, inexpensive ways to help treat allergies. And they help keep your home cool, too.

The 10 Worst Cities for Allergies

Each year, The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America rolls out its “10 worse cities for allergies” list. This year the worst cities for allergy sufferers were:

  • Jackson, Mississippi
  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Knoxville, Tennessee
  • McAllen, Texas
  • Wichita, Kansas
  • Dayton, Ohio
  • Providence, Rhode Island
  • Richmond, Virginia

How’s pollen season treating you and your home? Are you waking up to a house covered in a nice, new coat of yellow? Take a pic and tweet it to us at @nedstevens.

Treat your home to a soft washing service and a gutter cleaning. It won’t stop the pollen from coming, but it will keep your home in better condition!

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