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VIA National Allergy Bureau:

With the peak of the spring allergy season fast approaching, millions of Americans are keeping their tissue boxes close by and trying to decide whether a walk in the park is really such a good idea. The budding trees and blooming flowers associated with the early return of spring mark an increase in itchy, watery eyes, sneezing and other allergy symptoms. What can you do to avoid suffering from seasonal allergies? The only way to avoid pollen is to move to somewhere that has no grass, trees or weeds – or lock yourself in a sealed, air-conditioned room until the pollen is gone. Fortunately, there are less drastic steps you can take to make yourself more comfortable. The American Academy of Allergies and Immunizations offers the following tips to help allergy sufferers find some relief during your peak allergy season:

• Do a thorough spring cleaning – windows, book shelves and air conditioning vents collect dust and mold throughout the winter that can provoke allergy symptoms.

• Minimize outdoor activity when pollen counts are high. Peak pollen times are usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you live in the USA, you can get up-to-date pollen information for your area from the National Allergy Bureau at http://www.aaaai.org/nab.

• Take medications at least 30 minutes prior to outdoor activity. Consult with an allergist-immunologist to ensure medications are helping you, and notify your doctor when reactions to medications occur.

• Shut windows in your house on days pollen counts are high. Avoid using windows or fans that may draw pollen inside.

• Wash bedding weekly in hot water.

• Dry laundry indoors. Sheets hanging on an outside line are an easy target for blowing pollen.

• Shower and wash your hair before bed – pollen can collect on your hair and skin.

• Keep pets off of furniture and out of the bedroom. Pollen can cling to the dog or cat after being outside.

• Keep car windows closed during peak season. Use air conditioning and point vents away from face.

• When mowing lawn or gardening, wear a filter mask.