Coping with Spring Allergies - Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

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Published on April 15, 2016

Tips for Coping with Spring Allergies

Many people are happy to see the end of a long, cold winter, but being exposed to allergens and irritants of the new season can cause allergies and asthma to flare up.

Protect Yourself from Asthma Attacks

"Weather is a main factor that affects people with asthma," explains Dr. Rene Franco, a pulmonologist with Wheaton Franciscan Medical Group. "It's important to take precautions for those that spend time outdoors especially during cold or hot and humid months."

Dr. Franco suggests:

  • Carrying an inhaler at all times.
  • Wearing a mask during outside activities (exercising, working, etc.), to keep the air around the nose and mouth warm.
  • Breathing outside air through the mouth instead of the nose.
  • Establishing an emergency plan so others know how to help if an attack occurs.

Cope with Allergies

In addition to protecting yourself from asthma attacks, there are a number of other things you can do to reduce or prevent seasonal allergy symptoms:

  • Avoid triggers. It's important to know what you're allergic to so you can avoid those triggers. An allergist can identify the things that cause allergy symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose and itchy eyes.
  • Monitor pollen and mold counts. Stay inside when they're high.
  • After working or playing outdoors, take a shower, wash your hair and change your clothes.
  • Keep windows and doors shut at home and in your car during allergy season.
  • Use air conditioning, which cleans the air.
  • Try to avoid mowing the lawn or raking leaves. If you have to do these chores, it might be a good idea to wear a mask.
  • Take allergy medications as prescribed and start using them before symptoms begin. Be careful when using over-the-counter allergy medications because they can cause sleep and thinking problems.
  • Allergy vaccinations. Allergy vaccinations slowly introduce your body to allergens so it learns to tolerate them rather than triggering an allergic reaction. These vaccinations can reduce symptoms of many allergies, prevent the development of new allergies and, in children, stop allergies from progressing to asthma.

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Tips for Coping with Spring Allergies