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Wellness Wednesday: preparing for spring allergies

Posted at 8:04 AM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 10:04:36-05

BOISE, Idaho — Spring is just around the corner which means all the sniffling and sneezing from seasonal allergies is on the way with it.

Spring allergies are actually a group of conditions that lead to your stuffy nose, sneezing, coughing, and itchy eyes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2018, more than 19 million Americans suffered from seasonal allergies.

Here in the Treasure Valley, we can expect to see the condition pop up again over the next few weeks as spring settles in. Allergies in spring may seem worse than in other seasons because allergies are triggered by pollens from weeds, grasses, and trees that are beginning to bloom. In Idaho, you'll likely suffer from allergies caused by exposure to ragweed, sagebrush, and certain trees.

So what can you do to minimize the impact? Someone suffering from seasonal allergies could delegate outdoor yardwork to someone else or they can see a physician one to two weeks before spring begins to start medication early. You should also check the pollen count each day. If it's high, keep your car and home windows closed and use air conditioning.

Other things you can do to stay ahead of spring allergies: keep up with your spring cleaning. Vacuum more often with a HEPA filter and wash your sheets on a regular basis. You should also be aware of what time of day you're heading outside as pollen counts are typically at their highest during the morning or on dry, hot and windy days.

If seasonal allergies seem to be year-round versus once a year, you may need to see a physician to find the root cause. Over-the-counter nasal sprays and other treatments that aren't working could mean setting up an allergy test with your doctor.