Taming Spring Allergies
If you start sneezing or coughing at the first signs of spring, you may have seasonal allergies. Here is what you can do to combat these allergies and make it through the season.
Spot the Signs
Symptoms of spring allergies can vary from person to person. They can include coughing, sneezing, a runny nose, itchy or watery eyes, or a sore throat.
Know the Culprits
Most spring allergies are caused by tree pollen. If your allergies continue through late spring into the summer, you may also be allergic to grass or weed pollen. It’s common for people to be allergic to more than one substance.
Several types of over- the-counter medicines offer allergy relief. These include antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal sprays. If your symptoms are severe, your provider may prescribe nasal spray or eye drops.
Start Treatment Early
If you know you have spring allergies, start taking medicine two weeks before your symptoms typically begin.
Consider Allergy Shots
Another treatment option is allergy shots, or immunotherapy. These shots expose you to small amounts of the allergen over time, slowly reducing your symptoms.
Keep Pollen out of Your Home and Car
Keep windows and doors shut and turn on the air conditioner.
Check Pollen Counts
This information is available online or on radio or television weather reports. Tree and grass pollens are usually at their highest levels in the evening.
Keep Allergens off Yourself
During times of high pollen counts, change your clothes and wash your hair after spending time outside. And wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose when mowing or doing outside chores.
Beware of Dry, Hot, Windy Days
This type of weather makes pollen counts soar.
See a Specialist
If your allergies are severe, your provider or an allergist can help you determine what’s causing them and learn how to control symptoms.
If you don't have a primary care provider, visit our online provider directory or call our physician referral line at (269) 686-4231.