With the peak of the spring allergy season fast approaching, millions of Americans are keeping their tissue boxes close by. The budding trees and blooming flowers associated with the early return of spring mark an increase in itchy, watery eyes, sneezing and other allergy symptoms.
Seasonal allergic rhinitis, or “hay fever,” affects more than 20 percent of the people living in the United States, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI). Allergies are triggered by substances called allergens, such as pollen or mold spores. Many trees, grasses and weeds contain small and light pollens that are easily carried by the wind, causing allergy symptoms to flare up in the spring.
Tips for allergy sufferers to find relief during allergy season
- Do a thorough spring cleaning – windows, book shelves and air conditioning vents collect dust and mold throughout the winter that can provoke allergy symptoms.
- Use a new filter in your air purifier. If you run your air purifier constantly, monitor your filter for build up.
- Shower and wash your hair before bed – pollen can collect on your hair and skin.
- Keep pets off of furniture and out of the bedroom. Pollen can cling to the dog or cat after being outside.
- Keep car windows closed during peak season. Use air conditioning and point vents away from face.
- When mowing lawn or gardening, wear a filter mask.