4 Tips to Manage Allergy Symptoms

Here is what you can do to get some relief during this early allergy season.

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Sneezing, itching, red watery eyes and runny noses. Allergy season is here. And thanks to our changing climate, the season is starting earlier and lasting longer than in previous years.

Dr. Troy Baker with Kaiser Permanente thinks we may be in for a more intense allergy season.

"A light winter always seems to come before a heavy pollen season," he said. "I think that's what might happen this year."

Studies show climate change has also led to longer seasons, by about 20 days. It's more severe with a 21% increase in pollen concentrations since 1990.

Baker recommended starting preparing for allergy season now. The pollens are already out, so getting ahead of it as fast as you can is always the best approach he said.

Trees are pollinating now through March. Grasses tend to peak around May and then ragweed during the late summer and fall months according to Baker.

Here are four simple things you can do to help manage your allergy symptoms:

1. Keep your clothes and hair clean

It is important to change your clothes when you come home from work to avoid spreading pollen on your bed and chairs, according to Baker.

"Your hair is kind of like a sponge, it's good if you can shower at night before you lay down on your pillows," he said.

2. Don't forget about your pets!

Check your pets. They are also carriers of pollen.

"If they sleep in bed with you, they are going to transport the pollen from their fur onto your pillow and into your bed as well," Baker said.

3. Change your AC and heating system filters

Change your AC and heating system filters to ensure they are working properly during allergy season.

Also, keep your windows closed to limit pollen exposure in your home.

4. Stock up on allergy medication

Now is the time to stock up on medication like nasal sprays, antihistamines, and eye drops.

"There's a lot of good medicines over the counter that people can use to feel better," Baker said.

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