Tracy Lee Curtis

Allergy season is nothing to sneeze at

Pollen counts are climbing, which means sneezing and itchy, watery eyes. Antihistamines, protection against exposure and nasal sprays can help.
Pollen counts are climbing, which means sneezing and itchy, watery eyes. Antihistamines, protection against exposure and nasal sprays can help. ISTOCK

Spring is here. Bringing with it the itchy eyes, drippy nose, and funny sound it makes when you try to scratch your throat with your tongue. Here are a few tips from everydayhealth.com for protecting yourself this spring …

Wear Sunglasses to Keep Pollen Out of Your Eyes. Apparently wearing sunglasses outside can reduce the amount of pollen or spores that get into your eyes. They can also hide your red itchy eyes that your significant other is convinced is a bad case of pink eye.

Ditch Pollen-Producing Indoor Plants. It says indoor plant soil can let mold spores into your house, the biggest offenders being indoor shrubs, trees, and grasses that may produce pollens. Can I just say as a big allergy sufferer, I would never have grass, shrubs or trees in my house. Not because of allergies, but because I don’t want to have to mow or rake the living room.

Kill Dust Mites With a Hot Wash. It says microscopic insects called dust mites, love to live on your bedding. You know what, I think I’ll take that grass. I’d much rather ditch the insect infested bed in the bedroom, in favor of a camp-out in the living room.

Take a Vacation From Pollen. If you can identify your trigger season, you may be able to avoid the worst pollen exposure by getting out of town. It suggests the beach as a great place to escape from pollen. Perfect. Allergy vacations tend to be a bit longer than a holiday or spring break, but your boss will probably approve you taking a season off.

Clean Trouble Spots Well for Indoor Allergy Control. This refers to windows, curtains, blinds, poorly ventilated laundry rooms, basements, refrigerator drain pans, and old books. I’ve done all this, and I’m still sneezing. I even got rid of the carpet, the rugs, fine fabrics and fancy bedding. The poor cat can’t even find a place to sleep!

Oh … the cat …

Keep Outdoor Pollens Outside. Take some simple precautions to keep outdoor pollens out of your home. They suggest removing your yard work clothes before entering the house. I would just say, make sure the neighbors aren’t home or you won’t be the only one rubbing your eyes …

When Doing laundry, Use a Dryer Instead of Hanging Your Clothes Outside. Absolutely. If it’s after 1938, go ahead and use the automatic dryer.

Get Rid of Roaches and Rats. Another good tip. In fact, this one’s so good, even if I didn’t have allergies I’d probably tackle this one.

The point is, there are lots of things you can do to protect yourself from allergies. Personally, I like popping a Zyrtec, wrapping myself in plastic wrap and then going about my day. It’s not fashionable, but I’m safe from pollen and I lose five pounds.

Although, if I take that first tip and add the sunglasses …

Curtis: tcurtis@charlotteobserver.com

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