Don’t Stop and Smell the Roses: Avoiding Spring Allergies

Each year, over 50 million Americans suffer from allergies. Family doctors and specialists can often help relieve the sneezes and sniffles that start every spring once they understand your particular allergy sensitivity. This process starts by diagnosing allergy triggers using a skin test.  

With this test, a health care provider makes a series of skin pricks, each containing a small amount of an allergen (allergy trigger) in the solution. If you’re allergic to any of them, a raised red spot, a “wheal and flare,” will appear. Once doctors know what triggers your allergies, it’s easier to treat symptoms — and better yet — to develop strategies to avoid those allergens in the first place.

You can’t avoid every allergen, but with these steps you can avoid many of the common ones and be more comfortable during allergy season:

  • Stay away from pollen-producing flowers
  • Minimize clutter, books and other trinkets that collect dust
  • Park your car away from trees
  • Dust weekly at home, avoid mold and strong-smelling cosmetics and perfumes
  • Bathe pets regularly if outside
  • Use mattress and pillow covers to avoid dust mites
  • Dry clothes in a dryer, not outdoors

If you do suffer from allergies and these strategies do not help, be sure to talk to your health care provider. He or she can prescribe medications that can help ease your symptoms of seasonal allergies.


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