Parkridge Medical Group March 16, 2015

Stay ahead of the seasonal sniffles with a solid anti-allergen strategy and the help of your doctor.

Sneezing, fatigue, a runny nose, congestion—spring allergies can be a bother. But you don’t have to suffer. Follow these steps to combat your allergies:

Step 1—Know Your Enemy

Find out what causes your eyes to water and nose to drip. A doctor can help spot the culprits by taking a detailed history of your symptoms, suggesting treatment for your specific allergy and referring you for allergy testing.

Step 2—Strike First

If you know you are prone to seasonal allergies, start taking your allergy medicine before symptoms strike. Many over-the-counter options such as antihistamines, nasal sprays, eye drops and decongestants can lessen looming symptoms.

Your doctor may recommend additional prescription medications or allergy shots to help build up your system’s immunity to specific allergens.

Step 3—Play Defense!

Sometimes the best offense is a good defense. Stay inside with the windows shut when pollen counts are high. Visit pollen.com for your area’s daily pollen forecast.

Taking certain steps can also help make your home an allergen-free fortress. Use these tips to banish allergens from your home this spring:

  • Keep allergens outside by closing windows and doors.
  • Install a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.
  • Vacuum and dust regularly to collect allergens that make it inside.
  • Leave shoes outside or in a mudroom, or clean them off when you come inside.
  • Clean pet paws and coats—they can cart in pollen, dust and other allergens.
  • Shower before bed to wash allergens down the drain.

Step 4—Stay Positive

Like the season, spring allergies will pass. Talk to your doctor, especially if avoiding allergens and taking over-the-counter medications aren’t enough to stop your symptoms.

To find a physician in your area, visit parkridgehealth.com/physicians.