woman blowing nose

5 Tips to Combat Allergy Season

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, tens of millions of Americans suffer from allergy symptoms caused by exposure to tree, grass and weed pollens.

Since levels of pollen and mold in the air vary by season, individuals who primarily have reactions to these allergens during specific times of the year are said to have seasonal allergies.

From sneezing to coughing, seasonal allergy symptoms can sometimes be disruptive and debilitating. While individuals can find over-the-counter solutions to treat symptoms, working with an allergist will help you discover what’s causing your suffering so that you can better work toward stopping it.

Whether your reaction to seasonal allergens is on the mild or severe side, consider incorporating some or all of the tips into your daily life to help decrease the symptoms you’re experiencing.

  1. Monitor pollen and mold counts. Weather reports in newspapers and on radio and television often include this information during allergy seasons. There’s also resources at pollen.com that can help track these allergens.
  2. Keep windows and doors shut at home and in your car during allergy season.
  3. Know your pollens and their season - To avoid pollen, know which pollens you are sensitive to and then check pollen counts. In spring and summer, during tree and grass pollen season, levels are highest in the evening. In late summer and early fall, during ragweed pollen season, levels are highest in the morning.
  4. Take a shower, wash your hair and change your clothes after you’ve been working or playing outdoors.
  5. Wear a NIOSH-rated 95 filter mask when mowing the lawn or doing other chores outdoors, and take appropriate medication beforehand.

Jennifer McCracken, MD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, specializing in Allergy and Immunology at UTMB Health.

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