Welcome to spring! This is the time of year that flowering plants and trees release pollen into the air, and it’s making some people miserable. In many parts of the U.S., 2010 is shaping up to be an especially bad year for allergy sufferers. There’s a lot of sneezing, nose blowing and itchy, watery eyes out there.

Weather conditions affect how much pollen is in the air. Trees and flowers are blooming earlier this year because of the warm days we’ve had. Rain will clear the air of pollen and strong winds may take pollen higher up into the atmosphere. Pollen is likely to cause the most trouble on sunny, warm days with a light breeze.

If you suffer from a pollen allergy, I recommend that you:

  • Keep windows closed at night.
  • Stay inside between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m., when there is more pollen in the air.
  • Keep car windows closed while driving.
  • Minimize your time outdoors when the pollen count is high.
  • Don’t hang bedding or clothing outside to dry.
  • Change clothes after playing or working outside and shower before climbing into your bed. That way you won’t be bringing as much pollen into your house.
  • Be sure to take the medicine prescribed by your doctor.
  • If you think you or your child may have allergies or asthma, see your doctor, allergist or pulmonologist.

-Jeffrey Glassheim, DO, asthma/allergy specialist, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Clinics-Fox Valley

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