Flowers in bloom, fresh-cut grass, trees getting their leaves -- all sure signs it's spring - and that your allergies are kicking in.
Cotton-O'Neil Dr. Saakwa Mante says you'll want to prevent allergies by limiting exposure. He says a few simple changes can help stop the sneezing and ease those itchy eyes.
First, he says keep the windows in your house and car closed to keep pollen out. Also, know when the pollen will be highest so you can stay indoors. He says, in spring, limit your outdoor activity in the morning. In summer, when the grass pollen gets high, he says you'll want to limit your afternoon and early evening time outside.
If you have been outside, Dr. Mante suggests showering before you go to bed. He says pollen can stick to you, and if you don't shower, you'll go to bed with it in your hair and breathe it in on your pillow all night.
Also, while line-drying your clothes may save energy, you may pay the price of a stuffy head! Dr. Mante says the clothes will attract pollen, then you'll wear it and have it right on you.
Even making those changes may not have you breathing easy, so medications can help. Dr. Mante says don't wait to take them. He says you need to start about two weeks before the season because the medications work on the molecular level and they need to establish themselves before the onset of the season.
Dr. Mante says if you're taking over-the-counter allergy medications and your symptoms are severe or prolonged, see a doctor. They may be able to prescribe something stronger and they can check if another condition, like sinusitis or asthma, is contributing to your problems.