Spring is officially here, and that means we can enjoy more sunlight and warmer weather. However, it can also cause those with seasonal allergies to reach for the tissue box.
“You may start to see your seasonal allergies worsen in April or May because that’s when tree and grass pollens often overlap,” explained DeVon Preston, MD, allergist for Cleveland Clinic. “That’s also when we tend to have our drier, windier weather – which means pollen can travel in the air more easily.”
Spring allergy season starts in February and can last until early summer in many parts of the United States. During this time, Dr. Preston said those with tree pollen allergies can experience symptoms like itchy or watery eyes, sneezing and a stuffy nose. He suggests trying a nasal steroid or nasal antihistamine for congestion relief, sneezing or a runny nose.
An oral antihistamine can help relieve itching symptoms. Along with medicine, Dr. Preston urges people to try and stay inside on dry, windy days to decrease their exposure to allergens.
People can also take some simple steps at home to keep their spring allergies in check.
“We all love to open our windows and let the fresh air in, but keeping your windows closed can help prevent pollen from entering your home. I recommend people use their HVAC system, if they have one, to help filter the air in the home,” he said. “If you have pets that go outside, brush them off before they come back inside because pollens can collect on their fur. It’s also a good idea to keep pets out of your bedroom.”
If your symptoms aren’t improving, Dr. Preston recommends seeing an allergist. They can help you find out what you’re allergic to and develop a treatment plan.