Did you know more than 80 million people in the US suffer from seasonal allergies each year? Seasonal allergies are reactions to pollen, mostly from grasses, trees and weeds. For people in Indiana, seasonal allergies are most common in the spring and fall when pollen is in the air.

While you can’t prevent seasonal allergies entirely, there are several steps you can take to lessen the severity of your symptoms during the peak of allergy season.

Stay away from outdoor chores

The spring and fall months are often packed with activities and outdoor chores. However, spending time outside during these seasons, especially doing things like mowing the grass, pulling weeds in the garden and racking leaves, can cause your allergies to strike. Have a family or household member perform these tasks for you. If that’s not possible, consider wearing a face mask that can help keep allergens out.

Keep your windows shut

It’s always nice to have fresh air and a breeze flowing through your home. However, keeping your windows or doors open during allergy season invites allergens into your home. Only open your windows and doors when absolutely necessary to help keep pollen and other allergy irritants out.

Wash up

After spending time outdoors, take a shower or bath to wash away any allergens. Make sure to put the clothing you wore outside straight into the wash or a hamper to prevent allergens from getting onto other surfaces in your home.

Learn your symptoms

Allergy symptoms are different for everyone, depending on the type of seasonal allergies you have and how severe they are. It’s important to know what allergies do to your body so that you can identify when you are dealing with seasonal allergies or something more.

Try over-the-counter medications

There are several medications that can help with allergies that you do not need a prescription for, including Claritin, Allegra, Zyrtec and more. These come in different forms such as liquids, pills and eye drops. Medications for allergies work the best when they are taken preventively, meaning that you should take them before your allergies strike and every day. Many providers recommend that you start taking allergy medications two to four weeks before your allergy season begins. This allows the medication to build up in your system and protect you from allergy symptoms.

If you are unsure what kind of allergy medication you should take, speak with your pharmacist or call your medical provider’s office. They can help determine the best medication to take and make sure it does not interfere with any other medications you are taking or health issues you may have.

See a medical provider

Sometimes allergies can be so severe that they interfere with your everyday life. If you find it hard to complete daily tasks, like going to work or school, doing work around the house or socializing with friends and family, it may be time to speak with your medical provider. While there is no cure for seasonal allergies, your provider can help you find treatment options that work to lessen the severity of your symptoms.

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