Spring is finally here — and while the flowers are blooming and the grass is growing, allergy sufferers are sneezing. Many people deal with big allergies all year, like those who are allergic to milk, eggs, tree nuts, and even bees. But dealing with spring allergies can be exhausting and discouraging, so here are a few simple tips that will hopefully help you survive this allergy season.

  1. Look at the pollen count. A good habit to get into during allergy season is checking the pollen count. Pollen is the main culprit of allergies and it’s important to know how much pollen you’ll be exposed to daily. By checking the pollen count, you can plan accordingly — if it’s particularly high one day, maybe plan to get work done around the inside of the house and save outside activities for days with lower pollen counts.
  2. Have antihistamines nearby. While vaccines help prevent more than 2.5 million deaths each year, there is, unfortunately, no vaccine for spring allergies. But there are plenty of antihistamines available that can help alleviate annoying allergy symptoms. It’s important to stock up on allergy medication and have it on hand if your allergies get really bad.
  3. Keep windows shut. It can definitely be tempting to open the windows in your house to let it some refreshing spring air, but this is only going to let pollen into your house. The same goes for when you’re driving — drive with the windows rolled up. Keeping the windows shut will help limit how much pollen and other allergens get into your house.
  4. Clean the house regularly. Allergens can easily get into the house through an open door, on pets, and even on clothes and shoes. This is why you should consider cleaning your house regularly during allergy season. Even light vacuuming and dusting can do wonders at limiting the amount of allergens present.
  5. Wash clothes and sheets often. Because allergens can make their way into a house on people’s clothes and shoes, it’s a good idea to change clothing as soon as you come inside. You should also throw dirty clothes directly in the wash, especially if you were doing yard work or outside for a long time. Remember to clean your dryer vents as well. Failure to clean the dryer vent can leave allergens in your home and is the number one cause of home clothes dryer fires. And for added benefits, wash sheets and bedding weekly to ensure allergens don’t build up over time.
  6. Cover your face when doing yard work. Yard work has to get done, but doing work outside can be downright miserable if you have allergies. So when you have to to work in the yard, consider covering your face with a mask or even a bandana. While it won’t be a complete cure, it can definitely help you breathe easier and prevent you from inhaling a ton of pollen and allergens.
  7. Talk to a doctor. If all else fails and you are suffering greatly from your allergies, it may be beneficial to talk to your doctor. There are treatment options, like immunotherapy or allergy shots, that may help. Or your doctor may prescribe a stronger over-the-counter allergy medicine. Either way, it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor and see if they can recommend a more effective treatment.

Whether you’re a parent of a child who suffers from allergies, one of the 65 million people who provide for a disabled or aged family member who has allergies, or you have allergies yourself, these allergy season survival tips can help. So keep this information in mind for a less sneeze-filled allergy season.