It's the sneezing season. -- Illustration

Something to sneeze at

Published 9:22pm Monday, March 7, 2011

We’ve all faced it. We’ve all cringed just a little when we’ve seen it.

It’s pollen and with the spring allergy season just around the corner, allergy sufferers are already stocking up on nose spray, nose tissue and scheduling visits with their doctors for the regular allergy shots.

It’s simply that time of year again.

But, are there ways those who battle allergies during the spring and summer months, to battle the onset of the “yellow stuff” this year?

Although the following suggestions from the National Allergy Bureau (www.aaaai.org/nab) may not eliminate all of the allergy symptoms, they make going outdoors this spring and summer a little less irritating.

Do a thorough spring cleaning. Windows, book shelves and air conditioning vents collect dust and mold throughout the winter that could provoke allergy symptoms.

Minimize outdoor activity when pollen counts are high. Peak pollen times are usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. You can get up-to-date pollen information for your area from the National Allergy Bureau.

Take medications at least 30 minutes prior to outdoor activity. Consult with your physician or allergist to ensure medications are helping you, and notify your doctor when reactions to medications occur.

Shut windows in your house on days pollen counts are high. Avoid using windows or fans that may draw pollen inside.

Wash bedding weekly in hot water.

Dry laundry indoors. Sheets hanging on an outside line are an easy target for blowing pollen.

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.

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