It's that time of year again, Spring is officially here, and so too are the flowers and longer days.
On the flip side, this means the start of pollen and allergy season. Experts say we're just getting into Spring allergy season in both Iowa and Illinois.
The current allergy report for the Illinois and Iowa area shows high pollen.
Allergy sufferers better stock up on remedies now, because allergy season is just beginning.
Every spring, trees and grasses release billions of pollen granules into the air, using the wind to disburse across the countryside in an effort to reproduce. It’s all about survival, plants that release more pollen have the survival advantage.
Grass allergies tend to spike in May and June while rag-weed allergies go through September.
Experts also say it's too early to tell if this allergy season will be any worse, or better, than the past few years.
Here are a few tips to survive the season from Mayo.com:
- Minimize exposure to allergens. Track pollen counts. When pollen counts are high, keep the windows closed at home and in the car. After spending time outdoors, shower and change clothing to prevent ongoing exposure to pollen.
- If high pollen counts are forecasted, start taking allergy medications before your symptoms start.
- Take a pro-active approach to treating symptoms. Starting medications before symptoms develop can prevent symptoms from getting out of control. This can also decrease the amount of medication needed overall. Long-acting non-sedating antihistamines are helpful for itching and sneezing. Nasal corticosteroid sprays are more helpful for stuffy noses.
- Consider a visit to see a board certified allergist/immunologist. She or he can help you determine which particular pollens maybe the source of your symptoms.
- Explore the role of immunotherapy with your doctor. Immunotherapy changes the immune response through the administration of small regimented doses of allergens over time. This induces a state of tolerance, eventually helping people become less allergic over time.
- While pollen season is coming, taking a multifaceted approach can provide much-needed relief from the symptoms that have plagued humankind throughout the millennia.
Keep indoor air clean
- Use the air conditioning in your house and car.
- If you have forced air heating or air conditioning in your house, use high-efficiency filters and follow regular maintenance schedules.
- Keep indoor air dry with a dehumidifier.
- Use a portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter in your bedroom.
- Clean floors often with a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter.