How to control seasonal allergies

Question: As the pollen allergy season approaches, what can I do to control my hay fever?

Answer: Allergic rhinitis, better known as hay fever, is a seasonal allergy that appears in spring or summer. It is known to be triggered by various plant pollens, trees, grasses and weeds, or mold spores. Springtime is known as the tree pollen season, and summer is the grass and weed pollen season. The symptoms of hay fever, or pollen allergies, are very similar to a cold or flu. They include a runny nose, itching eyes, nose and throat irritation, sneezing, and head congestion.

If you think that your symptoms may be caused by allergies, you should see your physician or provider who can provide a diagnosis and recommend treatment. Your physician or provider may need to suggest various tests to determine if you have an allergy, and what the best treatment is for you.

There are many ways to avoid pollen and keep it from making you miserable this season. Here are some tips:

  • If possible, remain indoors in the morning when the pollen levels are highest.
  • If you have a pollen allergy and you must work outdoors, wear tight fitting facemasks that are designed to filter pollen out of the air before it reaches your nasal passages.
  • Keep your lawn mowed to prevent grasses from blooming and pollinating. When you do mow your grass, wear a facial mask (also called facial mask) to filter out the pollen particles.
  • When you are in your car, keep your windows closed and your air conditioning on recirculate.
  • At home keep your windows closed during the day, and be sure to replace your heating/cooling air filters regularly.
  • Obtain a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter.
  • Avoid travel in the country, especially on dry, windy days or while crops are being harvested.
  • Watch the pollen counts in the local weather reports. Although a pollen count is an approximate measure, it is useful as a general guide for when it is advisable to stay indoors and avoid contact with the pollen.

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