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Allergy Tips for Outdoor Living

Do allergies keep you indoors on nice days?
WebMD Feature

Try these tips to enjoy outdoor living, gardening, and hiking despite your allergies.

Thick of It: Is the grass getting high? Wear a mask if you're mowing. Nothing fancy -- an inexpensive painter's mask works fine.

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High and Dry: Pollen counts are highest on hot, dry, windy days. Check the forecast before making plans.

Good Scents, Bad Sense: Allergic to insect stings? Don't wear scented deodorants, perfumes, shampoos, or hair products. Carry an epi pen when hiking.

Orange or Red Alert? Skip outdoor exercise. High pollution levels make allergens even more potent.

Born to Run? Move the morning jog (or walk) to evening. Peak pollen and mold time is 5 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Soothe the Itch: Relief itching from poison ivy, oak, or sumac. Put wet compresses on the rash. Calamine lotion or antihistamine pills also help.

Got Sunglasses? Don't forget to wear them. Shades keep pollen out of eyes -- plus they protect against harmful UV rays.

Checking In: Does a quick jog or a bike ride leave you wheezing and sneezing? Before heading out, check pollen counts. Or join a gym.

Poison Plant Smarts: Don't let your pets run in wooded areas near poison ivy, poison oak, or sumac. They can carry the oil home on their fur.

Preemptive Attack: Next year, get the jump on allergies. Start allergy medications a few weeks before pollen season starts.

Back-Up Plan: Warm, breezy mornings have the highest pollen counts. Cool, rainy days have the lowest. If you love the outdoors, plan your days.

Ragweed Alert: If you're allergic to spring pollens, you're likely sensitive to ragweed in the fall. Ragweed flourishes this time of year

Just Do It: Love hiking, golfing, biking? Don't let allergies control your life. See an allergist. Treatment makes all the difference.

Weather Alert: When a thunderstorm rolls through, prepare for an allergy attack. The wind stirs up mold spores and tiny pollen particles.

Rake It In? If you're allergic to mold, avoid raking leaves -- or wear a mask. Store firewood outside.

Shower With Love: Pets bring pollen indoors. It's best to hose down the dog before letting him inside.

Pollen Patrol: At the end of the day, a spritz of saline spray clears pollen from nasal lining -- so you breathe easier.

Drizzly Days: On cool rainy days, pollen count is lowest. Dress right for the drizzle -- and enjoy your run or walk. What's a little rain?

Bundle Up: Cold air can irritate sensitive airways. If you're exercising outdoors on a cold day, cover your mouth and nose with a scarf.

Face Mask: If you run, put a bandana over your nose and mouth. Wear goggles. This protects lungs and eyes from allergens.

Reviewed on July 08, 2008

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