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Q: How can I ease my spring allergy symptoms?

Posted April 10, 2013 in Advice Column, Norwalk

A: Many people see the start of spring as a welcome change. But with the warm breeze comes airborne pollen and mold spores. And if you suffer from seasonal allergies, you probably feel them with every inhale. The allergens send the body’s immune system into overdrive, leading symptoms with your allergies such as sneezing, a stuffy nose and itching.

Spring is typically considered to be a tree pollen season. Trees cause allergies because they produce small pollen cells that are light and dry and can be carried far by the spring breeze. Eleven types of trees are common triggers for your allergies in the spring, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology: oak, Western red cedar, sycamore, maple, elm, birch, ash, cypress, walnut, hickory, poplar.

These trees release pollen around the same time every year. If you’re allergic to any of them, when their pollen is in the air you’ll start sneezing, experience congestion and feel itchy eyes, ears, nose, and mouth.

You’ll get some relief from spring allergy symptoms on rainy or cloudy days, or when there’s no wind to make the pollen airborne.

Your best defense from spring allergies is to keep your doors and windows closed, use allergy filters on your air conditioning unit, wash your clothes and take a shower after you’ve been exposed to pollen and mold spores and avoid doing yard work or exercising outdoors on days when pollen counts are high.

Information provided by Tami Dickeson, Norwalk Nursing and Rehab, 921 Sunset Drive, Norwalk, 515-981-0604.

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