Spring is in the air; which means March Madness for allergy sufferers!

March through May is peak tree pollen season. A single plant can release up to a billion grains of pollen per season. While most of the pollen grains fall within a few feet, some may blow in the wind for many miles. For those persons allergic to pollen, only a few hundred pollen grains are needed to cause itchy, watery eyes, nasal stuffiness, sneezing, runny nose and fatigue. These symptoms can decrease your quality of life: interfere with sleep and daily activities, become less productive at work, less effective learning at school and lead to sinus infections.

It is difficult to avoid exposure to pollens, but here are some tips to minimize exposure:

  • Keep windows closed to prevent pollens from drifting into your home.

  • Minimize early morning activity when pollen is usually emitted between 5-10 a.m.

  • Keep your car windows closed when traveling.

  • Stay indoors when the pollen count is reported to be high, and on windy days when pollen may be present in higher amounts in the air.

  • Wear sunglasses to prevent pollen entering the eyes.

  • Hire someone else do your yard work or wear a respiratory face mask.

  • Avoid freshly cut grass and mowing the lawn.

  • Shower and wash your hair before bed to prevent tracking pollen into your room.

  • Avoiding drying clothes outside on peak pollen days.

  • If you have pollen-food allergy syndrome, avoid fresh fruits and vegetables with cross reactive proteins.

When avoidance measures are not enough, various medications can relieve the symptoms. For those persons with moderate to severe symptoms, allergy shots can improve symptoms, potentially prevent developing new allergies and possibly prevent the development of asthma and prevent asthma exacerbations. Allergy shots can reduce symptoms in up to 85% of patients with seasonal allergies. Find relief now and schedule an appointment for your evaluation and individualized treatment plan.