Pollen season is in full-swing here in the city, making many a New Yorker think twice before sitting on that park bench for lunch. But with the Spring season being more of a myth than an actual annual occurrence, here are a few extra strategies to enjoy those rare sunny days without suffering for it any longer than necessary.
1) Change your clothes: Immediately after being outside on high pollen count days, leave your shoes at the door and change out of your pollenated clothes as soon as possiblebefore you pollenate your whole apartment.
2) Move your clothes hamper: Get it OUT of your bedroom or at the very least, keep your pollenated laundry bagged inside the hamper. No need to circulate pollen onto your clean clothes or throughout your bedroom while you get your Z's.
3) Shower before bed: To rinse away any allergens stuck in your hair or body. If you have really bad allergies, consider showering immediately after Steps 1 & 2 above. :)
4) Clean your contacts & glasses: For those of you contact wearers who don't have dailys, be sure you're rinsing them (and your contacts case) reaaaaally well every night or every day when you get in from outdoors. Glasses wearers should clean 'em daily to keep pollen from hanging out so close to your face.
5) Flush Your Nasal Passages: It's not for everyone, but using a saline rinse or neti pot can decrease inflammation in the lining of your sinuses and eliminate any pollen/irritants in the passageways.
6) Clean your filters & fans: Make sure your AC filters and fans are clean and ready for the warmer days, and check them periodically for any pollen/dust buildup. Also, climb up *carefully!* on a *sturdy!* chair and check your apartment's vents for the same. If you've invested in air purifiers, it's time to change out those filters, as well.
7) Wash your sheets (or change your pillowcases) more: Look, I know you showered. I trust you. But if you're really suffering, it wouldn't hurt to try this out.
8) Wear your sunglasses: If your eyeballs are victimized by the pollen more than your sinuses (like me), wearing your sunglasses can help keep a bit of a barrier between you and the pollen. Don't forget to clean them after being outside. (Notice a pattern here?)
9) Manage Your Stress: Which seems like a cruel thing to put on this list, because it's such a cornerstone of ALL health related listicles - but for good reason. The higher our stress, the higher our inflammation, the lower our body's ability to adapt or just plain old deal with things like pollen. So get your Z's, stay hydrated, keep your sugar consumption in check, eat a vegetable.
10) Get your SINUSES adjusted: Whaaaat? Essentially, our head is made up of a bunch of bones. And they aren't all fused together (which is kind of contrary to how we think about our head). These bones should move a tiiiny bit when we breathe. - If the bones around our sinuses get stuck from allergy inflammation, it can keep our sinuses from draining properly. Ergo sinus pressure, headaches, and infections. Sinus adjustments are safe when performed by a chiropractor who has gone through extensive cranial training (that's me!) and can be a great way to keep you going this spring & summer. Ask for it at your next adjustment!