How can I protect myself from seasonal allergies?
The best way to protect yourself against seasonal allergies is to reduce your exposure to pollen. During high pollen days:
- Limit your time outdoors and seek indoor spaces with clean air.
- Create a cleaner air space at home to protect yourself from outdoor air irritants during the COVID-19 pandemic. Use a portable air cleaner in one or more rooms. Portable air cleaners work best when run continuously with doors and windows closed. Do-it-yourself box fan (video) filtration units are a low-cost filtration alternative, but they should never be left unattended.
- Keep your cleaner air space a comfortable temperature by using air conditioners, heat pumps, fans, and window shades.
- If you have a forced air system in your home, consult a qualified heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) professional about different filters (HEPA or MERV-13 or higher) and settings (“Recirculate” and “On” rather than “Auto”) that can be used to reduce indoor air irritants.
- If outdoors, avoid activities that stir up pollen, such as mowing lawns or raking leaves. When you return indoors, take a shower and change your clothes.
The EPA website on indoor air and COVID-19 and the EPA Guide to Air Cleaners in the Home (PDF) provide additional information on improving indoor air quality. You can also find out the daily pollen levels in your area by checking local weather forecasts and pollen counting stations. Learn more about reducing your exposure to respiratory triggers.
See also: Prevent getting sick