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For many, spring brings joy via outdoor activities amid blossoming flowers and blooming trees, as they visit parks, hike through meadows and jog along roads in the warming air. For millions of allergy sufferers, however, the attendant airborne pollen brings bedeviling sneezes, congestion, teary eyes and runny noses. Hay fever alone, which affects 35 million Americans, shuts many of us indoors. Before resorting to such an extreme measure, try controlling allergic reactions using some of these simple suggestions.
The Mayo Clinic recommends that we begin by reducing exposure to allergy triggers:
Stay indoors on dry, windy days and early mornings, when pollen counts are high. The best time to be outside is after a good rain, which helps clear pollen from the air.
Remove clothes previously worn outside. Immediately after coming inside, shower thoroughly to rinse off pollen.
Don’t hang laundry outside, because pollen may stick to it, especially sheets and towels.
Keep indoor air as clean as possible by turning on the air-conditioner in both the house and car, and use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, especially in the bedroom; most cost less than $100. Make sure the vacuum cleaner has a HEPA filter, too. Keep indoor air comfortably dry with a dehumidifier.