| Lifestyles

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

How to survive a severe allergy season

Email Newsletters

Sign up for one of our email newsletters.
By The Washington Post
Sunday, April 20, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Recent reports suggest the arrival of warmer weather will soon unleash a pollen tsunami in parts of the country where the winter has been especially long and cold. Here are survival tips from Clifford W. Bassett, an allergy specialist and assistant clinical professor of medicine at the New York University School of Medicine.

• Wear oversized sunglasses to block airborne pollens and molds.

• Wear a hat, preferably one with a wide brim.

• Avoid outdoor line-drying of clothing and bed linens on a high-pollen day.

• Consider exercising indoors on high-pollen days. Pollen levels might peak during the midday and afternoon, and are generally higher on warm, dry, windy days.

• Get confirmation that you have seasonal allergies, with simple in-office tests.

• Begin treatment with medications such as nasal antihistamines, oral antihistamines, steroids and eye drops even before symptoms start.

• Talk to your doctor about allergy shots, which can slow the progress of allergic disease.

• Shower and shampoo nightly to rinse pollens from skin and hair. Change clothes before entering your bedrooms to keep pollens out.

• At home and in the car, keep the windows closed and set your air conditioner to “recirculate.” Clean filters in room air conditioners frequently. Do not use fans that suck outdoor pollens into your living area.

• Eliminate weeds from your yard and plant allergy-friendly greenery such as azaleas and begonias, palm, pine, fir and dogwood trees; hibiscus, boxwood and yucca shrubs.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Health

  1. Runners say expensive shoes don’t live up to hype