Living in Florida means sunshine and warm temperatures. And, thanks to pollen, it also means itchy eyes, stuffy head and lots of sneezing. For most of the country pollen season isn’t in full force until the beginning of April, but here in Florida pollen counts start to get high as early as February. This will come as no surprise if you’ve seen the hood of your car.  

To help make this pollen season a little less irritating, here are some tips for keeping pollen at bay.

Keep your car in the garage.

Speaking of that yellow hood, keep your car parked in the garage. If you don’t have a garage, give it a good rinse with your hose when possible. Keeping pollen off the OUTSIDE of your car helps keep pollen from settling INSIDE your car. Also, keep the windows up. The beautiful weather makes this idea particularly painful but your sinuses will thank you.

Keep your windows and doors closed.

Just as with your car, it’s best to keep your home windows and doors closed. Again, I know how tempting it is to open the windows to let some fresh air in BUT that “fresh” air is laced with pollen. Additionally, change your air conditioning filters regularly and eat inside at restaurants.

Don’t wear your shoes inside.

There are actually a number of good reasons to take your shoes off as soon as you enter your home, but if for no other, this practice helps keep pollen out. No doubt you’ve got that unfriendly yellow dust all over your shoes, you certainly don’t want to trapes it through your home. This also goes for any outerwear – hats, jackets, etc. Ask friends and neighbors who stop by to do the same. It also helps to wash your hands when you get home.

Shower often.

If you’ve been outside for any length of time, especially if you’ve been doing yardwork, shower as soon as you can. Our bodies collect pollen, particularly our hair, so washing off after being outside goes a long way to keeping pollen at bay. Make sure you shower in the evening and change your pillowcase often. Pollen from your hair will land on your pillowcase and you’ll be sleeping on it all night. *sneeze* *sniffle*

Wash off pets.

Indoor-outdoor pets will also track in tons of pollen. Dogs just LOVE to roll around in the grass, don’t they? Before letting your furry friends back inside the house, give their paws a good wipe. If possible, give them a good brushing and then wash the brush off. It will also help to vacuum their beds or favorite areas often particularly areas right inside the door.

Clean regularly.

Even while taking the precautions above, some pollen will get in the house. Sticking to a regular cleaning schedule will wipe away the little yellow offenders who made it in. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter and use a damp rag for dusting rather than a dry one. You may also consider wearing a mask while dusting or hiring a cleaning company.

Talk to you doctor.

If all else fails, consider scheduling an appointment with your doctor. They may recommend home remedies such as a neti pot or help you determine if allergy medication is necessary. For extreme cases, you may even be sent to an allergist who can run tests to determine exactly what you’re allergic to and develop a treatment plan to help you.

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