We’ve all heard that “April Showers bring May Flowers” but those same showers are ushering in allergy season. Some experts are saying that this might be an especially bad season for those of us who suffer from seasonal allergies. We had a long, cold winter and suddenly warm weather has arrived and many trees, shrubs and grasses are blooming at the same time increasing the pollen in the air. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that at least 17.6 million people suffer from hay fever – so you are not alone!
So what can you do to minimize the sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, nose and throat? Several useful tips are provided below.
It’s important to keep pollen out of your personal environment.
• Leave your shoes at the door. Pollen coming into the house on shoes, clothing and even your pets can worsen your symptoms.
• Wash your hair and change your clothes before going to bed. If you sleep in the same shirt you wore outside, all of the pollen that has attached to the shirt will surround you all night!
• Control the air inside your home. Close windows and doors on high pollen days. Utilize your air conditioner or furnace and remember to change the air filters!
• When you are in your car, use the recirculate option with the air conditioner. Keep windows and overhead vents closed.
• Dry your clothes in a dryer – don’t hang them outside.
See your doctor. Many people are helped by over the counter medicines but others may benefit from visiting an allergist for testing and treatment.
You can be proactive with your allergies – check the daily pollen count and then plan your activities. Pollen counts are usually lower in the evening so that might be a good time for outdoor exercises such as walking. If grass pollen is especially bothersome to you it might be worth it to hire someone else to mow the lawn for you!
Written by: Marilyn Rabe, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, email@example.com
Reviewed by: Kathy Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Clark County, firstname.lastname@example.org
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