Allergy Season

Allergy Season Springs into Bloom

Many people are happy to see the end of this long, cold winter, but those with pollen allergies might not greet spring with open arms. 

There are, however, a number of things people with pollen allergies—also called hay fever—can do to 
reduce or prevent symptoms, said Stephen Bovenkerk, DO, of Lakeland Ear, Nose, and Throat, 
which has locations in Niles, Berrien Springs, and St. Joseph. 

“It’s important to know what you’re allergic to so you can avoid those triggers,” Dr. Bovenkerk said. “An allergy or asthma specialist can identify the things that cause allergy symptoms such as sneezing, a runny nose, and itchy eyes.” 

Here are some tips to help keep your allergies in check

• Monitor pollen and mold counts, and stay inside when they’re high.
• After working or playing outdoors, take a shower, wash your hair, and change your clothes. 
• Keep windows and doors shut at home and in your car during allergy season. Use air conditioning, 
which cleans the air. 
• Try to avoid mowing the lawn or raking leaves. If you have to do these chores, it might be a good 
idea to wear a mask. 
• Take allergy medications as prescribed and start using them before symptoms begin. Be careful when using over-the-counter allergy medications because they can cause sleep and thinking problems. 
• Allergy vaccinations are another option. They slowly introduce your body to allergens so it learns to tolerate them rather than triggering an allergic reaction. These vaccinations can reduce symptoms of many allergies, prevent the development of new allergies and, in children, stop allergies from progressing to asthma. 
• Be aware that many types of pollen and molds are found across the nation, and you might encounter 
new allergy triggers if you travel or move to a different region.

Click here to take a quiz about Seasonal Allergies.
© Spectrum Health Lakeland 2021