That time of year
With the beautiful blossoms of spring come the pollen that plagues many of us with itchy eyes and runny noses.
More than one in six Canadians suffers from hay fever, also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis. Allergy season can start in early spring and last until the first frost in autumn. Symptoms usually include itching eyes and throat, a runny nose, and sneezing.
Unfortunately, pollen can also aggravate asthma symptoms. Approximately 50 percent of people with asthma also have pollen allergies, and when the two team up, it can be a serious health concern.
How can you cope?
Whether or not you have asthma, it’s important to stay on top of your seasonal allergies so your symptoms don’t get worse. Watch this video with Dr. Susan Waserman, an allergist and clinical immunology specialist at Hamilton Health Sciences for tips on tackling seasonal allergies.
What should you do if you have allergies?
- Avoid coming in contact with visible sources of pollen, like plants and flowers.
- Use an air conditioner or fan instead of opening windows.
- Check the local pollen forecast on a weather website, and avoid going outdoors during peak times.
- Avoid cutting the grass – ask someone to cut it for you.
- Take an over-the-counter antihistamine.
- Don’t hang your laundry outdoors to dry. Use a dryer instead as pollen can cling to fresh laundry.
- If you’ve been outside where pollen levels are high, make sure you shower to wash off any pollen and change into a new set of clothes.
- If your symptoms persist, see a doctor.