AAFA Offers Essential Tips to Help With Seasonal Allergy Woes
Managing seasonal allergies and reducing contact with pollen may help improve quality of life
Washington, D.C., March 29, 2022 – With spring allergy season in full swing, you may be experiencing some of the symptoms of seasonal allergies – also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis or “hay fever.” Seasonal allergic rhinitis affects about 7.7% of adults and 7.2% of children, causing symptoms such as sneezing, stuffy or runny nose, red and watery eyes, itchy nose, eyes, ears, or mouth, and swelling around the eyes.
“The pollen seasons have gotten longer due to climate change,” states Kenneth Mendez, CEO and president of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). “This can mean more misery for people with seasonal allergy symptoms. But you don’t have to suffer – there are ways to keep your allergies under control.”
What triggers these symptoms? Mostly tree pollen for now, but grass pollen season starts in the spring as well. AAFA wants to help you manage allergy symptoms by offering some helpful tips on how to limit your contact with pollen:
1. If pollen counts are high, stay inside when possible. Check local pollen counts or forecasts daily. Plan outdoor activities for days/times when pollen counts are expected to be lower.
2. Stop pollen from getting in your home. Keep windows/doors closed during pollen season or peak pollen times. Use central air conditioning or heating with a CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly® air filter or cleaner (portable or whole house/HVAC) if you can. Before entering your home, take off your shoes and wipe down furry pets.
3. Adjust your outdoor wardrobe. A mask can be an effective barrier and block much of the pollen in the air from getting into your nose, mouth, and lungs. Wear sunglasses to block some of the pollen from getting in your eyes. Wear a hat or other hair covering when outdoors so pollen doesn’t collect in your hair.
4. Keep your bedroom allergy-friendly. Pollen can build up on your clothing after being outside, so be sure to change and wash clothes after outdoor activities. Wash bedding in hot, soapy water once a week. Shower before bed to keep pollen out of your bedding. And keep your bedroom pet-free – pollen can track into your room on their fur.
5. Start allergy treatment. There are options to help prevent or treat allergy symptoms. Nasal saline rinses, nasal corticosteroid sprays, oral allergy medicines (such as non- drowsy, long-acting antihistamines), decongestants (for short-term use), leukotriene modifiers, and immunotherapy (allergy shots or drops) are some options. Talk with your doctor about which treatments are right for you.
You can find more information from AAFA on how to recognize, prevent, and manage your seasonal allergy symptoms in our recently released 2022 Allergy CapitalsTM report. Our report also helps communities see where the needs of people with allergic diseases, like seasonal allergies, can be better met.
To learn more about pollen allergies, go to aafa.org/pollen-allergy. To better understand the differences and similarities between the symptoms of seasonal allergies and COVID-19, use AAFA’s symptom chart available in English and Spanish: https://www.aafa.org/covid19.
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA)
Founded in 1953, AAFA is the oldest and largest non-profit patient organization dedicated to saving lives and reducing the burden of disease for people with asthma, allergies and related conditions through research, education, advocacy and support. AAFA offers extensive support for individuals and families affected by asthma and allergic diseases, such as food allergies and atopic dermatitis (eczema). Through its online patient support communities, network of local chapters and affiliated support groups, AAFA empowers patients and their families by providing practical, evidence-based information and community programs and services. AAFA is the only asthma and allergy patient advocacy group that is certified to meet the standards of excellence set by the National Health Council. For more information, visit: www.aafa.org