Know your allergies to beat them

child blowing noseKnowing exactly what you're allergic to is key, says Dr. Pulin Patel.

The allergist with Allergy & Asthma Physicians at McLaren Macomb said knowing exactly what you're allergic to will allow you to make any necessary lifestyle changes to allow you to live in comfort.

"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 that will make great strides in living more comfortably with allergies."

Entering the summer months "“ and even lasting into the fall "“ pollen sufferers will begin to feel symptoms as flora begins to bloom. However, not all pollen is the same as there are tree, grass, weed and ragweed varieties.

Knowing which variety you are allergic to will allow you to plan accordingly and greater enjoy the summer months.

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 seasons 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. 

Still experiencing symptoms? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Patel here.