Beat your allergies this season

Woman holding noseEducation is key, says Dr. Pulin Patel of Allergy & Asthma Physicians at McLaren Macomb.

Know exactly what you're allergic to. Know when the pollen is at its highest during the day. Know what seasons you have symptoms. And know how to prevent it. 

"Education goes a very long way in limiting the symptoms-and suffering-of all allergies," Dr. Patel said. "There are very simple and minor changes you can make to your lifestyle that will make great strides in living more comfortably with allergies."

Entering the spring and summer months is when pollen suffers begin to feel the symptoms of the season's dreaded bloom. Yet, not all pollen is the same, as there are tree, grass, weed and ragweed varieties. People may be allergic to one type, all types or none at all.

However, should you find yourself allergic to a certain type of pollen, following these practical and easy tips can ease allergy suffering:

Determine your exact allergies "“ With the different types of pollen, one might suffer from tree pollen but remain unaffected by grass, weed or ragweed pollens. Tests can determine which allergens affect you.

Know your location's season "“ Pollen allergy seasons in southeast Michigan do not align with those in other parts of the country such as California, Florida, etc. Familiarize yourself with your location's seasons and pollens.

Watch the pollen and allergy counts "“ Local news weather broadcasts announce which allergens are predicted to be high that day. Pay attention to the morning weather reports to see if one might be at higher risk that day.

Limit exposure during high pollen times "“ Pollen is highest during 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. during its season. Try to limit being outdoors at that time, if possible. If it's a hot, dry, windy day, keep windows closed to avoid having pollen blown inside. Best time for outdoor activities is following a heavy rainfall. Wear sunglasses when outside.

Wash off pollen when exposed "“ Upon returning indoors, immediately wash your face and hands to remove pollen from your body. If possible, change clothing as well. Before going to bed, bathe and shampoo hair to avoid spreading pollen to sheets and bedding. Wash bedding once a week in hot water.

Following these easy-to-do tips are sure to ease the irritation of any allergy sufferer and lead to greater enjoyment of the summer months.