Primary Care

Suffering from bad spring allergies? Here are 8 tips to reduce your symptoms.

Happy family playing soccer on a sunny spring day.


Are you hanging on tight to your box of tissues as spring settles in? You can loosen your grip by following these eight tips to ease your seasonal allergies.

By Scott J. Costley, DO, Family Medicine, Nuvance Health Medical Practice


Spring has arrived, but don’t let sunshine and warm weather fool you! Pollen is in the air and if you have bad outdoor allergies and you’re thinking of celebrating spring with a picnic in the park, you may want to learn how to prepare yourself before heading outside.


What happens when spring arrives early?


Ahhh-choo! You know spring is here when the sound of sneezing competes with whistling robins. With an early spring arrival, trees and plants stretch their limbs ahead of schedule as warm weather begins to settle in. Because of this, pollen releases earlier than usual, which can make allergy sufferers feel downright awful. The longer pollen is in the air, the more likely your body may react to allergens.


Spring allergens can affect various aspects of your overall well-being such as your quality of sleep, productivity at work, social activities and outdoor recreation.


If you find yourself or your family struggling to manage your spring allergies, it may be time to seek guidance from your primary care physician.



What are common spring allergy symptoms?


Spring brings the joy of blooming daffodils and sunny days, but it also brings things that are not as enjoyable — seasonal allergies. If you find yourself swimming in a sea of tissues, you’re not alone. Nearly one in three adults and more than one in four children in the United States has a seasonal allergy.


Spring allergies can make you feel tired, congested and uncomfortable. But understanding symptoms can help you manage them better:

  • Runny nose 

  • Coughing

  • Sore throat

  • Itchy eyes

  • Sneezing


Related content: Not feeling well? Your primary care provider can help

Exposure to pollen can also trigger asthma attacks in people who have asthma. If you or your loved one have asthma or have an intense experience of symptoms, don’t hesitate to reach out to your family medicine physician for personalized advice and treatment options.



How can I relieve my spring allergy symptoms?


While spring allergies can be bothersome, there are several ways to reduce your exposure to allergens and alleviate symptoms.


Here are eight tips to protect yourself and lessen the effects of spring allergies:

  1. Allergy medications. Ask your primary care provider about trying medication like oral antihistamines or nasal corticosteroids. Some medication options are available over the counter.

  2. Check the weather forecast. Stay indoors during peak allergy hours, especially on dry, windy days and in the early mornings when your allergies are worse.


  3. Garden safely. Don’t mow, weed or garden when your allergies are most likely to flare. If you must perform these tasks, try wearing a mask.


  4. Shower after being outdoors. Shower and change your clothes after outdoor activities to wash off any allergens that have collected on your body during the day. It is especially helpful to shower before going to bed, so you have a good night’s sleep without allergens in your bedding.


  5. Seal out pollen. Keep windows in your house and vehicle closed to reduce pollen exposure.


  6. Keep your air cool. Use air conditioning to cool and circulate indoor air to alleviate allergy symptoms.


  7. Filter your air. Use high-efficiency particular air (HEPA) filters and change them every six months.


  8. Clean your floors. Vacuum regularly with a HEPA filter to remove allergens from carpets and rugs.

How can I tell if I have spring allergies or a cold?


Spring allergies can last for several weeks or even months. Unlike a cold, which usually resolves within a week or two, spring allergies persist for as long as you’re exposed to allergens. 


Pollen-related allergies generally don’t cause fever, chills or body aches. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should make an appointment with your primary care physician. 



The bottom line: Seasonal allergies can cast a shadow on enjoying the warm weather. But by understanding your symptoms and taking preventive measures, such as checking the pollen forecast, avoiding outdoor activities during peak allergy hours and implementing allergen-reducing strategies at home, you can minimize the harmful impact of spring allergies for you and your family.


Book now with a Nuvance Health family medicine doctor.