It’s spring! And that means lots of pollen is in the air, triggering allergy symptoms in millions of people. This condition is called seasonal allergic rhinitis, commonly referred to as hay fever. Hay fever can lead to sinus infections and can disrupt your sleep and affect your ability to learn at school or be productive at work.
■ Itching in the nose, roof of the mouth, throat and eyes
■ Stuffy nose
■ Runny nose
■ Tearing eyes
■ Dark circles under the eyes
Depending on where you live, there are generally three pollen seasons. The start and end dates of these seasons, as well as the specific plants involved, vary by climate.
■ Trees generally pollinate in the spring. Birch, cedar, cottonwood and pine are big allergy triggers.
■ Grass releases its pollen in the summer.
■ Weeds cause hay fever in the fall. Ragweed is the biggest offender, as it can grow in nearly every environment.
Avoiding your allergy triggers is the best way to reduce symptoms:
■ Limit outdoor activities during days with high pollen counts.
■ Keep windows closed (at home or in the car) to keep pollen out.
■ Shower after coming indoors. Otherwise, pollen in your hair may bother you all night.
— Source: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology