Seasonal allergies are caused by outdoor allergens, such as pollen, mold and grass. If you suffer from a spring full of sniffling and sneezing, there are a few tips that can help reduce your exposure, and symptoms, to seasonal allergens.

  • Keep your windows closed as much as possible, and use an air conditioner, which keeps the air clean, dry and cool.
  • Watch the pollen counts, which can be found on your local news or online weather website. When pollen counts are high, stay indoors or wear a pollen mask if you must venture outside.
  • Don’t mow your lawn or rake up leaves when your allergies are flaring up. Doing so kicks pollen and mold spores into the air.
  • Avoid hanging clothing outside to dry, as it will collect pollen and carry it indoors.
  • When pollen counts are at their highest, consider a vacation to a less pollen-prone area. It’s a great excuse to visit the beach!

Weather and Location

You may think that moving to another area of the country will help you escape your allergy problems. Unfortunately, most pollens are found throughout the country. Also, if you are prone to allergies, you will likely find new allergens to react to when you travel.

Weather does play a role in the level of pollen, and thus how much your allergies bother you on any given day. Allergy symptoms tend to be less severe on rainy, cloudless and windless days. The hotter, drier and windier the weather, the more pollen travels through the air.

Allergy Testing and Immunotherapy

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, it is important to schedule an appointment with an allergy specialist. Once the specific allergens have been identified, a treatment plan can be developed. Immunotherapy, or allergy shots, can help your body become more resistant to specific allergens, which can reduce symptoms and the need for medication.

Ramie A. Tritt, MD, President, Atlanta ENT