Managing Seasonal Allergies

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It is mid March and the weather is unseasonably warm in the northern part of the United States right now. With this new warmth has come a burst of tree pollen. Massachusetts pollen levels were high yesterday and are expected to be moderate today. Needless to say, I am miserable.

Perhaps your seasonal allergies are acting up too. Here's a list of how to stay as sneeze free as possible.

Stay Indoors It might sound obvious, but the warm weather tempts even the most allergic. You should try to stay indoors, especially if the weather is dry and during the morning and evening hours. Pollen levels are at their highest in the morning 8-12 and during dinner time 5-10, in low humidity and when there hasn't been any rain. Rain will often wash the pollen out of the air, so feel free to try to venture out if it's raining or has recently rained--or if the weather is humid.

Keep Your Window Closed You might want to air the house out, but that only brings pollen into your home. Same for vehicles. Drive with the windows up and the air on recirculate.

Keep Your Pets Clean Outdoor pets will bring pollen in on their fur. Give them a bath or wipe down with a damp towel.

Talk to Your Doctor If you need medications to treat your allergies you can try over the counter antihistamines like Benadryl, Claritin or Zyrtec. If those fail to work, it might be sign to pay your allergist a visit. An allergist can prescribe something that works for you and/or can discuss allergy shots for those who are severely allergic.