ACHOO: 7 Surprise Spring Allergy Triggers

If you’re already aware that you suffer from spring allergies, you likely do what you can to avoid pollen. Allergic rhinitis (or hay fever) strikes as soon as the first buds of spring pop through the moist earth. So you do your part, you take a 24-hour antihistamine, you steer clear of pollen prone areas on your route to work, and you vaccum your home regularly to avoid tracking pollen indoors.  However, you’re still stuffy, itchy, and sneezing.

Here are seven lesser known spring allergy triggers that can still get the better of you…

1. Hair Products

Do you do your do with hair spray, gel, mousse, and smoothing serum? You may be making your mane a magnet for pollen!

Researchers from New York University point to hair products, particularly sticky ones like hair gel and hair sprays, trap pollen in your hair like a net. If you don’t wash your hair every day, you may be literally travelling to work, home, and to bed with a head of allergens surrounding you in your locks.


2. Alcohol

Saying cheers on a patio with a few brews or glasses of wine with your buddies can certainly signal spring is in the air! However, a Swedish study published by the National Institutes of Health notes that alcohol can affect your ability to drive along with your upper, nasal airways.

Researchers explain that booze, particularly wine, acts as a dilator of the blood vessels in the nose, which can trigger an allergenic immune response. If you suffer from allergies you may want to limit your booze intake when pollen counts are high, particularly if you suffer from COPD, asthma, or chronic bronchitis.


3. Dirty Ceiling Fans

Are you overcome with a runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes? Well, look up! Your allergen source might be swirling right above your head. How filthy are the blades on your ceiling fans?

Many of us track allergens indoors and don’t suck all of it up with the vacuum. In fact, according to data from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, much of the allergens that make way int our homes take refuge or get trapped on ceiling fan blades as they swirls dust and pollen around. So give those blades a good wipe down before you turn them on.


4. Houseplants

If you suffer from mold allergies, researchs from Pennsylvania State University say you may want to worry about more than what’s in your walls and shower. If you give your houseplants a bit too much water, you may be incubating the ideal conditions for mildew and mold right in indoor plant pots.

Researchers note that overwatering plants will breed mold right in the soil of your favorite spider plant or peace lily. Rather than guess with watering, and overwatering as a result, consult nurseries or look online for proper watering plant guidelines. You can also add some air cleaning plants to your home (i.e., golden pathos, snake, and spider plants).


5. Your Precious Pet

Fido and Fluffy like to venture outside just as much as the rest of us on a glorious spring day. However, even if your pet (or their fur or dander) doesn’t cause you to sneeze, sniffle, or itch–you may be allergic to what they’re tracking back into your home after their amazing outdoor adventures.

After an outdoor romp, your precious pooch, cat, or rabbit can track in all sorts of mold, pollen, and other allergens inside on their coats. So if you suffer from spring allergies, makes sure to give cat or dog a regular wipe down and weekly bath to cease the transit of allergens inside. And you might want to invest in a good pet bed so they don’t snuggle with you.

pet 2

6. Fresh Spring Berries

Ahhhh the sweet, juicy, crimson strawberry. One of my favorite things about early spring is putting strawberries on everything, including my cereal, in my smoothies, on green salads, and of course, desserts!

However, while eating fresh berries can do much for your health and wellness, a pint of fresh berries can also send your spring allergies into high gear. In fact, allergy and immunology researchers from Northwestern Memorial Hospital, in Chicago, Illinois, compare fruit pollen to the pollen that triggers your spring allergies, like tree, grass, and weed pollen. However, the good news is that you can still enjoy fruit when pollen counts are high as long as you cook or peel it when eating it raw.


7. Spring Cleaning

The urge to clean come spring is so strong that many of us can be found glove deep, scrubbing our homes on the first lovely, sunny day. However, while a thorough spring cleaning is meant to eradicate all signs of dust and dirt, all of that dusting and scouring can unearth allergens from deep settled nooks and crannies in your home.

According to researchers at the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, when we clean we’re often cropping up all of those mold spores, dust mites, mouse, pet, and insect allergens that have lied dormant all winter. Suddenly their swirling around our indoor airspace again and causing havoc on our sinuses. So if you plan a deep clean, use a vacuum cleaner with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.

green cleaner


Emily Lockhart

Emily Lockhart is a certified yoga instructor and personal trainer. She believes that being healthy is a lifestyle choice, not a punishment or temporary fix to attain a desired fitness or body image goal. Anna helps her clients take responsibility for their own health and wellness through her classes and articles on ActiveBeat.