Johnston: Tips to curb allergy symptoms

Published 10:46 am Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Spring is a time for renewal, but if you suffer from seasonal allergies, this renewal can make this time of year miserable.

If you walk by anyone in my family, you’re likely to get sneezed or snotted on, so beware. I am fortunate spring allergies don’t affect me much, but my kids and husband walk around with tissues literally hanging out of their noses (sorry for that image).

Hay fever, also called allergic rhinitis, starts with cold-like symptoms. Unlike a cold that goes away in seven to 10 days, an allergic reaction tends to linger until its source is identified and treated or no longer present.

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One of the most common causes of allergies during the spring is high pollen counts. Depending on the type of pollen you are allergic to, this could happen at various points in the season.

Different types of pollen peak at different times.

To reduce your exposure to pollen, monitor local pollen counts and take necessary precautions when the type of pollen you are allergic to is high. I know the Weather Channel app and others have a meter image that shows you when pollen, ragweed and other allergens are high.

Precautions can include such things as starting to take allergy medicines, using essential oils known for helping ease allergic rhinitis symptoms or closing the windows in your home at night.

If possible, you can:

— Stay inside on dry, windy days.

— Change your clothes and shower after being outside to remove pollen.

— Do not hang laundry outside.

— Avoid being outdoors in the morning, when pollen counts are the highest.

— Use air conditioning to cool your house or car.

— Vacuum your floors often.

Seasonal allergies can develop at any time during your life and are not necessarily something you are born with.

Sometimes signs of allergies aren’t straightforward, as it can be hard to distinguish an allergy from the common cold. This is especially true with children.

If you or your child has cold symptoms that last more than a week or seem to occur at the same time every year, you may want to talk with your health care provider about it.

Only a certified health care provider can truly diagnose allergies and prescribe treatments.

More information on healthy living is available at the Clark County Extension office.

Shonda Johnston is the Clark County Extension agent for family and consumer sciences. She can be reached at 744-4682 or by email at