Tips for Managing Spring Allergies

Allergies are one of the most common chronic health conditions in the world, affecting as many as 30% of the world’s population. Allergies happen when the body mistakes pollen or other substances in the environment as dangerous pathogens, causing the immune system to release histamines to attack the allergen. The symptoms of allergies include a runny nose, sneezing, rashes, and itchy or watery eyes. Since spring is one of the peak times for allergy symptoms due to all the pollen released by grass, flowers and trees, here are tips for managing your allergy symptoms this spring.

1) Stay Indoors During Peak Pollen Hours.

Pollen counts tend to peak in the early morning hours and on windy days. Since spring allergies are most often due to pollen, it’s wise to limit your time outdoors during these times to minimize your exposure.

2) Dry Your Clothes Indoors.

When the temperatures begin to rise in the early spring, it’s tempting to hang bedding and other laundry outdoors to save energy and get that “clean outdoors” smell. However, hanging your clothes outside to dry means that they’ll collect pollen and other allergens, increasing the amount of pollen brought into your home. If you have spring allergies, dry your clothes indoors to help minimize your symptoms.

3) Use a HEPA Filter.

In addition to pollen, patients can also suffer from allergies to dust mites, pet dander and mold spores. Using a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter inside your home, and in your vacuum cleaner, can eliminate these microscopic particles from the environment and reduce your allergy symptoms.

4) Remove Your Shoes at the Door.

When you wear your shoes in your home, you track pollen and other allergens through every room you walk into. Removing your shoes at the door, and asking your guests to do the same, prevents you from adding pollen and other allergens to your home environment.

5) Talk To a Health Care Provider about Medications.

If you take all the steps listed above and still suffer from seasonal allergies, you might benefit from an oral antihistamine, nasal steroid spray or antihistamine eye drops. Talk to a health care provider about which option is best for you.

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