NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The wet spring followed by warm temperatures may bring beautiful blooms, but it may also mean plenty of pollen and allergens to contend with, and city living doesn’t provide much respite.
CBSN New York’s Vanessa Murdock spoke to eco-designer and author Robin Wilson to get some tips to help you stifle the seasonal suffering.
“Over 60 million Americans suffer from asthma and allergies, and one of the worst things we do is forget we are in nature, whether we’re in the suburbs, whether we’re in the city,” she said.
Wilson has advice to help turn your city home into a safe zone.
“You have to decide in your lifestyle how you’re going to mitigate allergens from coming into your home. You’re going to have to recognize that no matter what you do, there’s an allergic trigger around the corner,” she said.
City dwellers are just as susceptible to seasonal allergies and have the additional urban irritants to contend with, as well.
Wilson starts with five tips to help if you suffer from asthma and allergies.
First, take your shoes off when you come inside and leave the pollutants outside.
Second, change your clothes and shower before you go to bed.
“So many of us forget that there’s pollen on our hair and on our clothing. Try to change out of your street clothes and shower before bed,” Wilson said.
Third, wash your pillowcase weekly, wash your pillow every two months or so, and replace your pillow every three years.
Fourth, Wilson says home decor can be another allergy irritant.
“Your surfaces should be smooth or as low-pile as possible so they can easily be vacuumed,” she said.
Hardwood floors and low-pile area rugs are preferred over wall-to-wall carpet for allergy sufferers. Smoother fabrics also mean easy-to-clean furniture. Heavier textures keep a better grip on dust and pollen.
“I think that the one thing we don’t think about is the power of microstatic cloth,” Wilson said.
They pick up irritating dust and pollen on all surfaces. Don’t forget to clean around windows and to keep them closed.
Wilson also says keep your clothes washer open after a load to cut down on mildew.
Finally, she reminds parents to think about allergens on their kids’ toys.
“Parents are concerned about allergies and asthma with their children, and one of the things they forget is that stuffed animals have allergens on them,” she said.
Wilson says if you put that favorite stuffed animal in the freezer, allergens and mites will easily shake off.
These suggestions are common sense and easy habits to form. A little effort can mean a lot less suffering.
“Whatever you do when you’re in the outside world, you need to prevent it from coming into your home. You can’t be fully free of allergies, but you can make sure your home is a sanctuary,” Wilson said.