Tips for Managing Your Seasonal Allergies
Madison, Wisconsin - For the more than 35 million Americans who have allergies it sometimes seems as if there are only two seasons – allergy season and winter (unless you have allergies to dust and mold and then it’s just all year long).
But, in reality there are three essential allergy seasons – spring when trees begin to bud and flower, late spring when the grasses join in, and late summer/early fall when ragweed starts.
This year, with warm temps and dry conditions starting so early in the season, allergy sufferers experienced symptoms a month earlier than usual.
"Our clinics experienced the earliest increase in patient calls and visits in memory," comments Dr. Mark Moss, UW Health allergist.
While allergy sufferers can’t control the weather, there are actions they can take to help alleviate their symptoms regardless of the season. According to Dr. Moss, a few recommendations include:
- Don't wait until your symptoms are bad to call your allergist
- Keep your windows closed and, if possible, use air conditioning, which cleans, cools and dries the air
- Try to stay indoors when the pollen or mold levels are reported to be high (the UW-Madison pollen counting station is one of three in Wisconsin that reports to the National Allergy Bureau)
- Wear a pollen mask if long periods of exposure are unavoidable and then shower or change clothes afterward (such as when mowing the lawn or working in the yard)
- Avoid hanging sheets or clothes outside to dry
- Consider taking a vacation during the height of the pollen season to a more pollen-free area, such as the beach or sea
- When traveling by car, keep your windows closed
- Use a Neti Pot for nasal irrigation
And, save the honey for your yogurt. "One of the biggest myths is that a teaspoon of honey that comes from a local source will cure allergies. It doesn’t help prevent or relieve allergy symptoms," says Dr. Moss.
Date Published: 05/11/2012