Baltimore Sun

Spring allergies: How to stifle the sniffles

With spring upon us, many find themselves reaching for the tissue box, rubbing their eyes and enduring bouts of sneezing.

Fortunately, treatment can be found in the form of antihistamines and decongestants, and, for some, routine doctor visits for allergy shots.

You can minimize symptoms further by following these recommendations:

Avoid outdoor activities between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m., when pollen production is at its highest. Also, keep home and car windows closed during these hours.

Because pollen from the air can collect on your hair and clothing, it's a good idea to change your clothes and take a quick shower after being outdoors.

When traveling, roll car windows up and use your air conditioner on maximum air with vent closed to help keep pollen out.

When indoors, use your air conditioner. Avoid turning on attic fans that can bring pollen in from the outside air.

Wash your hands frequently, especially before touching your eyes.

Don't hang laundry outdoors. Pollen flying through the air will settle on it.

If pets roam outdoors, restrict their movement to certain rooms in the house.

Avoid drinking alcohol and exposure to cigarette smoke, as these can aggravate symptoms.

Wear a mask and goggles while mowing the lawn. And mow often - before grass gets high enough to bloom and release pollen.

Vacuum your home frequently to remove dust and pollen.

For pollen maps, information on types of allergies and what causes them, and treatment options, visit Users can complete an allergy profile and sign up to receive information on the latest treatments.

Sources: Doctor’s Guide, a site run by PSL Consulting Group Inc. and