Spring is in full bloom and for many allergy sufferers it can be the most challenging season of all. Whether it’s pollen from plants, trees or even grass, allergies trigger a variety of itchy, and scratchy symptoms not ideal for springtime fun. 

Laren Tan, MD, a pulmonologist and asthmatologist at Loma Linda University Health, encourages allergy and asthma sufferers to remain active and enjoy God’s outdoor natural beauty. It’s just a matter of thinking smart. 

Here are his 10 tips to guard against pollen this allergy season. 

Keep windows closed

Tan recommends to keep windows closed during the day and at night. Even though a cool breeze is always welcomed, it can easily trigger allergies. It’s best to use indoor air conditioning when possible. 

Wash bed sheets regularly

The more people are outside the easier it is to bring in allergens on clothes, hair and shoes. Tan says to wash the sheets frequently for a better night’s rest and easier breathing. 

Go out in the early morning

It’s best to work out, run errands and get moving in the early morning. This time of the day is still damp and the winds have not set in, Tan says. Avoid heavy winds when possible. 

Take allergy medications

Allergy sufferers are no strangers to antihistamines and decongestants, Tan says. It’s important to maintain regular medications as needed to manage allergy symptoms and for asthma sufferers to always carry an inhaler. 

Change air filters

Take out the old and put in the new with central air filters. This is the easiest and safest way to ensure dust and allergen particles are removed.

Be mindful of pets

Family pets can carry various pollen, dust, dirt and other things not ideal for the house, Tan says. If possible, set aside a pet friendly space in and outside the house and keep allergy sufferers at a safe distance. 

Wear masks as needed

Tan encourages patients who suffer from severe asthma to wear masks while outside. Make sure the mask fits properly in order to effectively keep allergens out. 

Keep work and home space clean

Dust particles can sneak up around the office and home. Try to aim for a weekly sweep around the desk, furniture and bedrooms. 

Avoid shoes in the house

Shoes track large amounts of pollen, dust and allergens. When possible, leave shoes outside and refrain from bringing them in the house.

Track pollen count

Mobile apps are available to monitor daily pollen count. Tan says this is an easy and accessible way to track where and when the best time for allergy sufferers to enjoy nature’s beauty. 

If symptoms, such as runny eyes, congestion, itchy ears or mouth persist, seek treatment from a primary physician. For asthma sufferers, if wheezing, chest tightness or burning persists, Tan also recommends seeing a primary physician or asthmatologist depending on the severity of symptoms. 

It may not always be easy, but there are many ways to avoid allergy triggers this season. Stay proactive with one or all of these helpful tips.