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Eight tips to cope with spring allergies

Spring is here, and for people who suffer from allergies, it can be miserable. A Carle allergy specialist offers these tips for keeping allergy symptoms manageable.

Victoria McMeen, MD, says if you have allergy medicine, start using it now. She also encourages those with allergy prescriptions to get those filled and to start taking the medication now.  “Those with asthma are advised to use their controller inhalers as allergies can trigger an asthma flare-up,” Dr. McMeen added.

Dr. McMeen advises people to do eight things to help reduce exposure to allergens:

  • Keep the doors and windows in your home and car closed to prevent pollen from entering.
  • After outdoor activities, leave your shoes by the door, shower or bathe, and change clothes.
  • Wash your hair before going to bed to limit pollen from being transferred to your pillow.
  • Dry your clothes in a vented dryer, not outside.
  • Regularly vacuum your furniture and floors.
  • Wipe off your pets when they come indoors.
  • When outside, wear wraparound sunglasses and a mask.
  • Avoid being outside in the late morning or early afternoon when pollen counts are highest.

Dr. McMeen says expect this year’s allergy season to be another tough one. “Our area endured the seventh-coldest February on record, which should delay the pollination cycle of many bushes, shrubs and trees. Typically, allergy sufferers would experience a delayed onset of symptoms. But the delay means everything will be in bloom at the same time, elevating the pollen count. Last year was the ninth-coldest February on record for our area so the coming allergy season should mirror last year,” she said.

If you suffer from allergies, Dr. McMeen says Carle Allergy can provide many treatments to help.

“An allergist can identify which allergens trigger your symptoms and determine the level of treatment best suited to your individual needs. For allergy sufferers with severe symptoms or those who do not respond well to allergy medication, we offer allergen immunotherapy, which helps the body build resistance to the effects of the allergen,” she explained.

For more information or to see an allergy physician, please talk to your primary care provider or contact Carle Allergy at (217) 255-9770.