Springtime Allergies

By: Stacy Berman
By: Stacy Berman

April 4, 2006

It's the time of year where outdoor allergies begin to kick in, so for those unable to avoid them, here are some ways to make seasonal allergies a little more bearable.

Over the past two weeks you've been sneezing, had a runny nose, headache and itchy eyes. You thought it was a cold, but you haven't gotten better. It could actually be seasonal allergies.

"The seasonal allergens, the tree pollens, the grass pollens, and weed pollens, might be a little more prevalent in the southeastern united states and the Charlottesville area," explained Otolaryngologist Dr. Dan Landes

So if you're susceptible to outdoor allergens and you want a sneeze free spring, Dr. Landes has some prevention tips.

"Keep the windows closed. Pollen counts tend to be highest first thing in the morning so if you are going to be outside and you can skip the early morning hours that's better."

If you can't avoid being outside, Dr. Landes says showering away those irritants can help.

"You can change your clothes when you come into the house to get the pollens off of you. Shower and wash your hair everyday, especially in the evening before you go to bed."

Both dry and wet weather can have an affect on pollen, but it's the windy weather that is the worst because it propels the pollen.

"People who have seasonal allergies will often have the worst time in the spring and the fall. The spring is when the tree pollens are most prevalent and there is a lot of the tree pollen in the air between February and May and the fall is notorious for ragweed pollen and also for leaf mold."

If your allergies flare up during this time of the year, over the counter medicines can help, but if not, your doctor could prescribe something.

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