Spring and Summer bring seasonal allergies – Five tips can help minimize their effect

(Photo Supplied/Lutheran Hospital)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): While spring and summer bring sunshine, emerging greenery and longer days, they can also bring sinus pressure, headaches, itchy eyes and respiratory problems.

More than 50 million people suffer with nasal allergies and half of those also have seasonal pollen allergies, according to The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), which recently released a listing of the most challenging places in the country to live with allergies. In Indiana, only one city, Indianapolis, is in the top 100, ranked as 76 for spring allergies and 58 for fall allergies.

That is of little comfort to northern Indiana allergy sufferers, however, as many people experience a worsening of their allergies around springtime, when pollen counts are very high.

“Being aware of your allergy/asthma triggers is very important so you know what to avoid. Are your allergies or asthma flares triggered by pollen, mold or ragweed?” says David Mohan, MD, Family Medicine, with Lutheran Health Physicians. “If you suffer from allergies during a specific season, being on a once-daily antihistamine, without a decongestant (if approved by your doctor) or nasal steroid spray is usually good for maintenance through an allergy season.”

If you or a family member suffers from hay fever or allergic rhinitis, here are some helpful tips to keep symptoms in check:

  • Leave the pollen outside. Take your shoes off at the door as much as possible, to keep from spreading pollen through your house.
  • Close your windows and dust your fans. Despite the nice weather, true sufferers should keep the windows shut to prevent allergens from entering. If you use a ceiling fan, give it a good spring cleaning. Replace air filters in your home and car.
  • Keep your immune system strong. Eat fresh, clean, nutrient-rich foods and stay active. The healthier your immune system, the more equipped your body is to battle histamines.
  • Be aware of the pollen count. It changes daily – look up the count for the day, by zip code, at pollen.com.
  • Sip warm beverages. Herbal teas can help ease congestion and keep you hydrated.

Wherever you live, allergies are likely to affect someone in your home. In addition to tips for avoiding allergy triggers, there are many effective treatments to minimize symptoms. Talk with your doctor about the best allergy prevention or treatment plan for you.

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