That’s right, it’s that time of year again – allergy season, which is striking about two weeks earlier than usual and packing a stronger-than-usual pollen punch. 45 million people nationwide suffer from allergies every year. So what how do you know if you have allergies? Here are the most common symptoms:
• Itchy eyes and nose
• More tears than normal
• Postnatal drip
• Runny nose
• Scratchy throat
• Stuffy nose
Also, remember that if you didn’t have allergies as a kid that doesn’t mean you can’t have them now. Allergies can develop over time and as we get older. If you are still unsure if you have allergies, talk with your primary care doctor or an allergist. Both can give you an allergy test.
- Stay indoors on dry, windy days — the best time to go outside is after a good rain, which helps clear pollen from the air.
- Delegate lawn mowing, weed pulling and other gardening chores that stir up allergens.
- Remove clothes you’ve worn outside; you may also want to shower to rinse pollen from your skin and hair.
- Don’t hang laundry outside — pollen can stick to sheets and towels.
- Wear a dust mask if you do outside chores.
- Keep indoor air dry with a dehumidifier.
- Use a portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter in your bedroom.
- Use the air conditioning in your house and car.
- Change your AC filter regularly.
- Dust and vacuum regularly, but try and get a family member who doesn’t suffer from allergies to do so.
- Don’t bring clothes and shoes into the area where you sleep.
You can even go to http://www.pollen.com/allergy-weather-forecast.asp to check the pollen levels for your area. This is a great tool to use so that you can determine how much pollen is in the air everyday and therefore effecting your allergies.