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Tips for Avoiding Allergies This Spring

Beautiful elderly woman enjoying summer nature.

Nothing can put a damper on spring’s arrival—the sunshine! the warmer temps!—like seasonal allergies. It is hard to appreciate the longer days, get excited about planting your garden, and well, stop and smell the roses when you are suffering from watery eyes, a runny nose, sneezing and sinus pain. Before you buy stock in your favorite brand of tissues, read on for tips on keeping allergies at bay.

It’s a good idea to check pollen counts before you head outdoors. Visit The Weather Channel’s website for Charleston stats. Or you can sign up here for daily emails from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Pollen levels peak mid morning, so plan your outdoor activities around those hours. Hats and sunglasses can help minimize the amount of pollen that gets into your hair and eyes, and always change clothes or shower after working in the yard for an extended period of time. Consider wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth when mowing the lawn to further reduce your exposure. And keep your house and car windows closed during pollen season!

Plan to start taking any medications for allergies a couple weeks before the pollen strikes. If over-the-counter medicine just isn’t cutting it, you may want to talk to your doctor about immunotherapy. After a blood test to determine what is triggering your symptoms, you will be given low dose injections over a period of time to reduce your immune system’s response to the allergen.

Other small changes can help reduce the amount of allergens in your home. Ask everyone to remove their shoes at the door, use an air purifier, change your air filters, vacuum often, and make sure to bath Fido often as pollen can travel indoors on his fur. Here’s to a sneeze free spring!

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