Jun 05, 2015 11:00 AM

Author: Office of Public Affairs

Spring is in the air, but for many seasonal allergy sufferers, budding flowers and trees are not welcome sights. Itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, and congestion are common symptoms that can make people who have allergies downright miserable. But you don’t need to hole up waiting for winter.

“There are many things you can do to reduce exposure to allergens,” says Rafael Firszt, MD, a pediatric allergist at University of Utah Health. Here are just a few: 


Reduce Allergens

Keep indoor air clean

Keep car and home windows shut so pollen stays out. Use an air conditioner with high-efficiency air filters, and change the filters regularly. Also vacuum with HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters at least weekly.

Limit outdoor activities

“Pollen levels tend to be highest between 5 and 10 a.m.,” Firszt says. “Try to limit outdoor activities during this time and on high pollen count days. Delegate outdoor chores, such as mowing the lawn, to someone who doesn’t have allergies.

Don’t track outdoors inside

Pollen can stick to your clothing, shoes and even your pets. Your best bet: Take off your shoes and change into fresh clothes when you come inside. Take a quick shower to rinse pollen off your body and hair. Wash indoor-outdoor pets regularly, and keep them out of your bedroom.

Rest easy

“To reduce allergens in your bedroom, encase your mattresses, pillows and box springs with dust-mite-proof covers. Wash sheets weekly in hot water,” Firszt suggests. “Cleaning draperies and dusting regularly will also help.”

Get the Help You Need

“Don’t suffer with allergies. Over-the-counter and prescription medicines can help ease symptoms,” Firszt says. “Visit your doctor or allergist to discuss what treatment options may be right for you.”

Click here to find a University of Utah Health Care doctor near you or call 801-581-2897.

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