RIDGEWOOD, N.J. -- For allergy sufferers, the impact of warmer temperatures can mean sneezing, runny noses and a slew of other discomforts. And with this year’s winter warmer than usual, experts are predicting an early and heavy pollen season. However, sufferers aren't going it alone.
"Although pollen can be difficult to avoid entirely, these tips will help sufferers enjoy the spring," said Dr. Margaret L. Co, director of Allergy and Immunology at The Valley Hospital.
- Stay indoors as much as possible during peak pollen days, which tend to be sunny and windy. The best times to be outdoors are in the early mornings or on cloudy, windless days.
- Monitor pollen counts, which are different from pollen forecasts. Counts are performed by counting stations located throughout the United States and are required to meet stringent certification standards. The National Allergy Bureau (NAB) provides the most accurate and reliable pollen and mold levels.
- Sign up for free email alerts by visiting pollen.aaaai.org and adding the app to your phone's home screen.
- Keep windows closed and use air conditioning if possible, both at home and in cars.
- Take a shower after spending the day outside to remove pollen from hair and skin. When outdoors, wear sunglasses and a wide-brim hat to reduce pollen blowing into the eyes.
- For long-term relief of allergy symptoms, talk to your allergist or immunologist about allergy shots. This is a proven treatment approach that provides lasting benefits for many people suffering from allergies. Allergens in tablet form administered daily under the tongue at home is another form of allergy immunotherapy available for patients with allergies who do not want to get injections.