When the growing season rolls around, you will probably know it due to watery eyes, a runny nose, and itchy ears. Plan now to get a jump on your allergy symptoms before they take hold.

Limit your Exposure

When planning to enjoy the outdoors in good weather, try to avoid early morning exposure when pollen counts are highest. Schedule your yard work or recreational activities for later in the day or early evening. If you have to be outside early in the day, try to limit your outside time as much as possible. Keep windows closed until midday or later.

Make Cleanliness your Best Friend

After spending time outside, wipe off your hands and face to remove pollen. If possible, take a shower and wash your hair. Change clothes and launder those that were worn outdoors. Keep pets that go in and out clean and well-groomed to prevent the spread of pollen inside. Leave your shoes inside the front door and wear sandals or slippers in the house. If your car windows are open during the day, vacuum your vehicle’s interior every couple of days.

Visit an Allergist

If symptoms disrupt your lifestyle or impact your health, schedule an appointment with an allergist. Following an exam and a patient history, tests may be given to determine which grasses or pollens you are sensitive to. Tests may include skin patches or blood tests. The allergist can recommend lifestyle adjustments to help you manage allergy symptoms. Medication may be prescribed on an as-needed basis or for seasonal use only. Allergy shots may be another advised option.

Allergy symptoms can make you miserable and be challenging to diagnose or treat. However, a competent allergist can identify the seasonal source of the symptoms and explain what can be done to treat symptoms or reduce/eliminate their impact.