If you've been living with allergies, you probably know the obvious stuff by now -- don't take in stray cats, don't hang around in dusty attics, don't inhale deeply in smoking lounges. But that might not be enough. There could be hidden allergy triggers and irritants all around you that you don't know about. "Hidden allergens and irritants are a huge problem for people with allergies," says Hugh H. Windom, MD, an associate clinical professor of immunology at the University of South Florida. "The...
Seasonal allergies are most often caused by plant life that releases pollen into the air. That can make them tough to avoid. But you can do some things to ease your symptoms and protect your eyes:
Pay attention to pollen reports. Your local weather channel or weather-related web site regularly gives pollen counts for your area. When the counts are high, limit how much time you spend outdoors if you can.
Have someone else mow your grass when possible.
Avoid wooded areas.
Close doors and windows, and use air conditioning during warmer months. Know that allergens can be circulated through the air conditioning's filter, though. If you have bad reactions to pollens, the use of air conditioning may not be wise if your flare-ups are severe.
Think about buying a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter. These filter systems are very good at removing allergens from the air indoors.
These ideas are often just the first step. For many people, the next is a talk with the doctor about allergy drugs to help relieve symptoms. Your doctor can recommend the correct meds to help prevent or treat that irritation or itchiness.