In spring, people rush out of doors. They jog. They stroll. They smell the
And ...They sneeze. Sometimes a lot.
People with spring allergies know the drill: The itchy, watery eyes, blocked
ears, and nasal congestion that can put a crimp in even the sunniest spring
“A lot of times you don’t sleep well at night,” says Giselle Mosnaim, MD,
professor of allergy and immunology at Rush University Medical Center in
Chicago. “And if you don’t sleep well at night, you can be tired and irritable
the next day.”
Allergic rhinitis affects 10% to
30% of adults and as many as 40% of children. People with hay fever, a type of
allergic rhinitis, are specifically sensitive to molds and pollen that spread
in the air during the various seasons.
If you are allergic to pollen, don’t despair. Experts say that your allergies
are quite treatable. Try the following tips:
1. Live by the Pollen Count
Before trying medications, see if making changes to your environment helps
your symptoms. For example, attempt to time your outdoor activities to when the
pollen count dips down the lowest.
“That varies, dependent on which pollen you’re talking about,” says Andy Nish,
MD, an allergist in Gainesville, Ga. So check your local weather report, which
often includes a pollen count.
In the spring, trees pollinate throughout the day, so there's no luck
there. Pollen from summer grasses is worst in the late afternoon and early
evening. During the fall, weed pollen tends to be most present in the late
morning or early afternoons, he says. The pollinating season lasts longer in
Do you suffer from frequent sneezing, congestion, watery eyes, and an itchy,
runny nose? If so, you may have seasonal allergic rhinitis, often called hay
fever. It strikes when pollen starts to fly.
About 18 million U.S. adults and more than 7 million children suffer from
hay fever, according to the CDC. Fortunately, there are steps people with
allergies can take to avoid pollen and the misery that accompanies it, says
Andy W. Nish, MD, of the Allergy & Asthma Care Center in Gainesvill...
If you can’t avoid outdoor activities during peak pollen times, then try
wearing a mask if you’re cutting the lawn or doing garden work, suggests Rohit
Katial, MD, program director of allergy and immunology at National Jewish
Medical and Research Center in Denver, Colo. When you come back inside, change
your clothes if you are feeling symptomatic.
2. Filter the Air
To keep pollen out of your living space, close the windows in your home and
car. Run your air conditioning to filter the air. For people who have an
attic fan, don’t run it during the bothersome season, because the fan draws in
the pollen-filled outside air.