It’s the same song and dance every year around the spring season: The flowers bloom, the trees are full of leaves, and you find yourself with watery eyes and a nose that won’t seem to shut off. If you find yourself continually buying tissues and allergy medicine, you may suffer from seasonal allergies. Here are five tips for helping you survive the allergy season this spring.

Reduce Exposure to Triggers

During the spring months, we usually see an increase in pollen, ragweed, dust mites, and mold. Take extra precautions by staying inside on windy days or when the pollen count is high. If you find yourself outside on these days, change your clothes and wash the ones that you were wearing as soon as possible. It’s also recommended that you take a shower to remove any pollen that is on your skin or in your hair.  

Monitor Pollen Counts

Make it a daily ritual to check the pollen counts on the news. Pollen forecasts can differ depending on different areas of the city you live in. Be sure when you’re using an app that you’re plugging in your city and zip code or the city that you’re going to be visiting to get an accurate forecast. If the pollen count is high, take allergy medicine before you leave the house in the morning.

Know Your Allergies

Knowing how to address your allergies is key to making it through the season. If you’re allergic to pollen, keep your windows closed and rely on the air conditioner more. Consider investing in a dehumidifier; they do a great job at keeping the air dry and help relieve allergy symptoms. If you’re allergic to dust and mold, opening your windows to let the fresh air in will clean out allergens that are found within the home. You should also consider cleaning your floors every couple of days with a vacuum cleaner that has a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.

Taking Over-the-Counter-Meds

Medicine that is available over the counter is perfect for those with mild symptoms. These non-prescription medicines include oral antihistamines, antihistamine eye drops, decongestants, and nasal sprays. It’s always best to speak with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any type of medication to ensure the new medicines won’t affect any others that you’re currently on. Be sure to follow directions to keep symptoms away.

Meet with a Doctor or Pharmacist

If you’re doing everything you’re supposed to be doing and the symptoms aren’t going away or seem to be getting worse, you may want to consider seeking out professional advice. There could be a deeper issue, or you may be taking the wrong type of medicine. When you seek professional advice, be sure to take all prescription and non-prescription medicine with you.