Most of us just love this time of year. The weather warms up, the days are longer, and the birds sing in the morning. However, with all the season's joys comes the sneezing, sniffling, and eye irritation of spring allergies. According to the CDC, nearly 8% of American adults, or 20 million people plus 6 million children, experience seasonal allergies.
If you are one of them, you already know the increased pollen from flowers, trees, and weeds can make you miserable. Spring allergies can ruin our day, whether it is a runny nose, constant sneezing, headaches, or itchy eyes. I have mild seasonal allergies, and it is no fun.
So why does it happen? Our immune system mistakenly sees the pollen as a danger and releases antibodies that attack the allergens. This causes chemicals to be released into our blood that triggers the symptoms. Although allergies can be annoying, there are many ways to reduce your exposure and keep them to a minimum. Here are four ways to keep your allergies at bay.

Here are some ways to make spring easier on you:

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    Reduce Your Exposure

    Stay indoors on dry, windy days. The best time to go outside is after a good rain, which helps clear pollen from the air. Delegate lawn mowing, weed pulling, and other gardening chores that stir up allergens. Remove clothes you've worn outside and shower to rinse pollen from your skin and hair.

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    When Pollen Counts are High

    Check your local TV or radio station, your local newspaper, or the Internet for pollen forecasts and current pollen levels. If high pollen counts are forecasted, start taking allergy medications before your symptoms start. Close doors and windows at night or any other time when pollen counts are high. Avoid outdoor activity in the early morning when pollen counts are highest.

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    Spring Cleaning

    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.

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    Over the Counter Remedies

    Antihistamines can help relieve sneezing, itching, a runny nose, and watery eyes. Examples of oral antihistamines include Claritin, Alavert, Zyrtec Allergy, and Allegra Allergy. Decongestants. Oral decongestants such as Sudafed and others can provide temporary relief from nasal stuffiness. Decongestants also come in nasal sprays, such as Afrin and Neo-Synephrine. These should be used sparingly.

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