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    Spring and fall are beautiful. But if you have hay fever, all the pollen in the air can make you want to stay inside until you can go out without the sneezing, runny nose, and itchiness in your nose, throat, and eyes.

    Even when the pollen count is high, you can still take steps to curb the symptoms of your seasonal allergies.

    Start with these nine simple tips.

    1. Go shoeless at home.

    After you've been outside, take your shoes off at the door so you track less pollen in. Got a dog? Wipe down his coat before he comes inside, too, because those allergens cling to fur.

    2. Wash your hair before bed.

    That way, pollen that collected on your 'do during the day won’t rub off on your pillow.

    3. Close up.

    The fresh air feels great. But it carries in the sneezy, yellow stuff you're trying to avoid. So close windows and outside doors, especially on high-pollen days, and turn on the heat or the air-conditioning.

    4. “Recirculate" in the car.

    Keep the windows and sunroofs closed, and recirculate the air instead of using the vent, which lets in pollen. Use the air conditioner and adjust the temperature to your comfort.

    5. Switch out filters in your furnace and air conditioner.

    Change them as often as the maker recommends, or more often if it seems to help.

    6. Adjust your indoor humidity level.

    If spores from mold cause your allergies, aim for a humidity level of less than 60%. Consider buying a digital thermometer with a humidity gauge, available for about $20 or less.

    You may need a dehumidifier to get a level lower than 50%. Set it up on the main living level of your home if it’s got more than one story.

    7. Check the pollen count and plan your day accordingly.

    You’ll probably hear it on your forecast. Or you can check the website of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology's National Allergy Bureau. You can sign up to get daily emails with that info, too.

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