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  • 5 Ways to Fight Spring Allergens

    Arm yourself with these symptom-reducing tips this season.

    Check the pollen count before stepping outside if you suffer spring allergies

    Ah, spring. That magical time filled with blooming flowers, buzzing bees—and allergy flare-ups. What’s a susceptible allergic person to do?

    • 1. Know your worst allergy enemies.

      Depending on where you live and the time of year, you could be reacting to any of several common allergens. Here are a few usual suspects to watch for, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology*:

      • Molds thrive in heat and high humidity.
      • Tree, grass and ragweed pollens adore warm days and cool nights.
      • Pollen levels usually spike in the morning.
      • Smoke from campfires and fireplaces can wreak havoc on asthma sufferers.
      • Dust mites enjoy warm, humid indoor areas—making them year-round pests.
    • 2. Do a little environmental recon.

      Especially if pollen is your poison, check the weather report and pollen count each day before stepping foot into the great outdoors. And when wind is in the forecast, don’t mess around: Close up the house and switch on your AC for the day.

      Also, clean your window screens regularly to make sure pollen and plant material trapped on the surface don’t take up residence in your home once you open things back up.

    • 3. Dress for success.

      If you love working in the yard or garden, consider wearing a N95 respirator for outdoor chores, along with gloves and clothing that can protect skin by:

      • Creating a barrier against plant irritants
      • Wicking away sweat and moisture
      • Shielding you from the sun’s damaging rays
    • 4. Shower before bed.

      If you wait until morning to shower and wash your hair, you’re snuggling up with all the parts and particles that trigger your symptoms. You’re also giving dust mites even more to munch on. Before your head hits the pillow at night, make sure you’ve soaped, scrubbed and shampooed your allergens away.

    • 5. Build your own allergy-aid kit.

      Ask your doctor or allergy specialist to recommend a few essential items to keep on hand in case you experience a flare-up. Your allergy-aid kit might include:

      • Over-the-counter allergy medication
      • Prescription medicines and nasal sprays
      • An epinephrine pen for emergency injections (if you have severe allergies to stings or bites)