Presbyterian | Your Story | Centennial Care | Spring 2024

Sneezin’ and wheezin’? Tips for taming pollen allergies When you’re allergic to something in the air, it can be hard to get away from it. That’s what it’s like for the millions of people with seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever. Every spring, summer, and fall, plants release tiny pollen grains into the air to fertilize their companion plants. Most of the allergy-causing pollen comes from trees, weeds, and grasses. Once that pollen hits the air, it may trigger symptoms such as: Beat back pollen If you think you may have pollen allergies, your first step should be to see your primary care provider (PCP), who may refer you to an allergist. A skin-prick test can help reveal the exact pollens triggering your allergies. Your PCP or allergist can prescribe medications to relieve symptoms or recommend allergy shots to train your body not to react to the allergens. In the meantime, try these tips to lessen your exposure to pollen and reduce your risk of a reaction: • Start taking your allergy medicine before pollen season begins. • Try not to spend too much time outside when pollen counts are high. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology lists daily nationwide pollen counts at • Wear sunglasses and a hat when you are outside to help keep pollen out of your eyes and off your hair. • Keep windows closed at home and in your car during pollen season. • Dry your clothes in a clothes dryer and not on an outdoor clothesline. Sources: American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology; Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America • A runny or stuffy nose • Itchy eyes, nose, ears, and mouth • Red and watery eyes • Swelling around the eyes • Sneezing • Wheezing 5