health

Your guide to surviving allergy season

By Kate Rockwood

Published March 22, 2019

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Between spring-cleaning and all that pesky pollen in the air, this is an itchy-sniffly-sneezy time of year. This list is to prepare yourself for the many irritants.

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1.

Take medicine before symptoms start

If your first instinct might be to pop an antihistamine. It's not a bad one. "If you have allergies, one of the best things you can do is start medications early." Dr. Neeta Ogden, an allergist in New York.

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2.

Keep your windows shut

Tree and grass pollen -- the main causes of spring allergies -- can blow into your house if you open your windows even a crack

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3.

Check the pollen count

Visit weather sites, watch your local morning news or download the Pollen.com app for your phone. If the count is high, try to stay indoors.

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4.

Wear shades

Visit weather sites, watch your local morning news or download the Pollen.com app for your phone. If the count is high, try to stay indoors

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5.

Snack on yogurt

According to a study by the Institute of Food Research in the United Kingdom. People who consumed a yogurt drink, once a day for five months had lower levels of allergy symptoms.

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6.

Take a Breather

Research shows that stress can aggravate allergic reactions. To keep calm during allergy season, soothe yourself by breathing deeply, listening to tunes you love or working out.

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7.

Limit outdoor runs

If you prefer to run or walk outdoors, do so in the afternoon, when pollen counts are lower.

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8.

Kick off your shoes at home

This will prevent you from tracking pollen all over the house. Better yet, strip off your clothes and hop in the shower so pollen doesn't linger on your hair and body.

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9.

Eat Salmon

Participants in a German study who consumed the highest amount of a type of omega-3 fatty acid called EPA (found in fatty fish, like salmon) had a lower risk of developing hay fever. Don't eat fish regularly? Taking an omega-3 supplement with EPA can also help.

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10.

Keep Fido and Kitty off your bed

Long-haired pets that spend time outside can drag pollen back in with them.

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11.

Pop a 24-hour allergy pill before bed

That's right -- before bed. Some antihistamines can make you drowsy. That means they'll start working while you're asleep and you'll be symptom-free when you step out the door.

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Hopefully this list helps prevent the many irritants that can make you miserable during allergy season.