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After those long winter months, we all look forward to some sun and the bright, beautiful colors of spring. The flowers are budding, the trees are blooming, and my nose begins to itch. Oh no! All I want is to be able to step outside and finally enjoy some fresh air under the bright sunshine but my allergies are giving me fits. When my allergies really get me, I turn to a few tricks to help me survive the roaring bloom of the spring season.

We all know the warning signs: itchy eyes, runny nose, sore throat, maybe a little coughing. These perennial nuisances are largely due to the pollen that is popping and blooming all around us. The trees, flowers, and grasses are all coming out of their winter hibernation and roaring to life and we very quickly feel the effects of that life. Looking for some relief? Here are a few tips and tricks to help you survive the allergy season.

Check the pollen count.
There are a number of websites that track the local pollen count, both the particular pollen villain – like trees or grasses and weeds – and tell you the severity of the pollen that day. Knowing the days that the pollen will be high can help you to strategize your outdoor activities.

Try an antihistamine.
There are a number of over-the-counter products we can use to help deal with the symptoms of our allergies, like a runny nose, itchy eyes, and a scratchy throat. You’ll need to find one that best suits your personal needs and when in doubt, call your doctor. Your doctor may be able to prescribe something different or stronger if you’re suffering from seasonal allergies.

Avoid going outside on windy days.
A windy day will do the obvious to pollen – spray it off of the trees, plants, and flowers and into the air. If you’re outside on a day like this, and you’re an allergy sufferer, then you might particularly feel the effects of your allergies. Try to avoid being outside when it’s windy.

Avoid outdoor chores like lawn mowing and weeding.
On particularly high pollen days, you might consider skipping or delegating your outdoor chores, like weeding and lawn mowing, so that you can avoid close contact with potent allergens. If that can’t be avoided, wear a mask and glasses or goggles. Then wash your hands and change your clothes before you come inside to avoid bringing those allergens into your home’s surfaces.

Nasal irrigation.
If it suits you, a nasal irrigation can be an effective way to get some relief from nasal congestion due to seasonal allergies. There are several products on the market that can be used to flush out the nose. Be sure to follow the directions for use carefully, particularly as it comes to water and cleaning.

See your doctor.
If your allergies become too severe and impede your normal life, it might be time to visit the doctor. A doctor can assess your particular allergy and perhaps prescribe more powerful medications to help you get back to normal and endure the pollen season.

Spring is such a beautiful time of year and I don’t want to miss a second of its freshness. But my allergies sometimes make the spring not so fun. When those allergy signs start to flare up, I try to mitigate my exposure as much as I can or treat the symptoms with medication or some habit changes (I love an open window but my nose says “No!”). When you can get those pesky allergies under control, you can go out and enjoy the freshness of the spring season.

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