Allergies Spring Into Action
But the season doesn't have to mean misery, experts say
SATURDAY, March 25, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- While budding trees and blooming flowers are among the delights of spring, the season also brings the threat of sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, and other allergy symptoms for more than 20 percent of Americans.
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology offers the following 10 tips on how people with allergies can ease their symptoms:
- Spring clean. Do a thorough cleaning inside your home. Through the winter, windows, bookshelves, and air conditioning vents can collect dust and mold that can trigger allergy symptoms.
- Avoid pollen. Close the windows in your home when pollen counts are high. Avoid using window fans that may draw pollen inside. When mowing the lawn or gardening, wear a filter mask. Minimize outdoor activity when pollen counts are high. Peak pollen times are usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. You can get up-to-date pollen information for your area by going to the National Allergy Bureau's Web site at www.aaaai.org/nab.
- Be prepared.Take allergy medications at least 30 minutes before your go outside. Consult with an allergist/immunologist to ensure medications are helping you or when you suffer reactions to medications.
- Wash n' dry right. Wash bedding weekly in hot water. Dry laundry indoors -- sheets hanging on outside lines can collect pollen.
- De-pollinate. Shower and wash your hair before bed in order to wash off pollen that's collected on your skin and hair.
- Watch pets, too. Keep pets off furniture and out of the bedroom. Pollen can cling to dogs and cats who've been outside.
- Drive (and breathe) safe. During peak pollen season, keep your car windows closed. Use air conditioning and point the vents away from your face.
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about allergies.