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This Year, Pollen is the Enemy

May 20, 2015 02:00PM ● By Cate Reynolds
And many of us are at war. One in 10 are combatants in this battle. And it’s only going to get worse, experts tell us. Those of us who scoffed at Al Gore more than a decade ago, may open our itchy, red eyes and acknowledge the now nearly universally accepted belief that increased global temperatures are partly to blame for the increase in pollen. And, by all indications, it’s a situation that will only increase. But there are some steps we can all take to decrease pollens effect on our lives. With the help of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), we’ve put together a few tips to help us all cope.

Keep the pollen outside. Ragweed travels with the wind, so, as tempting as it is on a lovely spring day, close windows in your house...and in your car.

Mask your misery. Wear a face mask when you garden or mow the lawn. Better yet, assign those tasks to family members, or landscape professionals, who don’t suffer from hay fever.

Consider a cure. If non-prescription medication isn’t doing the trick, it may be time to see an allergist who can provide a more effective treatment such as immunotherapy, i.e. allergy shots. According to members of the ACAAI, allergy shots may also prevent the development of asthma and other allergies.

If pollen is the enemy, water is our friend. After spending time outside, shower, change your clothes, and wash them. If you shower every morning but are particularly sneezy at bedtime, try showering every night before you get in bed. Saltwater/saline spray into the nasal passages is another pollen suppressor. And don't forget to hope for Mother Nature's natural pollen wrangler—rain. Now if there's a rainy weekend, we can have something to be grateful for.

--Sarah Hagerty
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What’s Up? does not give medical advice. This material is simply a discussion of current information, trends, and topics. Please seek the advice of a physician before making any changes to your lifestyle or routine.