2 Your Health: Finding allergy relief

Our children are back in school which causes some of you to reach for tissues. You may be sentimental or you may be suffering from allergies.

Dr. Sandra Hong, an allergist at the Cleveland Clinic says ragweed is one of the most common allergens and it shows up this time of year.

“You may think it’s just a bad cold but every year if you get itchy, and itchy is important, sneezy, you get watery eyes, stuffy nose, if you get a lot of drainage, it’s probably allergies,” says Dr. Hong.

Ragweed allergies can make both adults and children miserable. Children who suffer from allergies may perform worse at school because they can’t sleep at night and they’re uncomfortable.

To help control allergies at home, Dr. Hong recommends keeping the windows closed and using air conditioning when possible. Air conditioning can cut indoor pollen counts by 90% or more. That’s why it’s a good idea to close windows and turn the air conditioning on in the car too. Taking a bath or shower before bed will wash away any pollen that’s stuck on you or in your hair.  If you have a pet that goes outdoors, Dr. Hong recommends keeping the animal off the bed because they may have pollen on them.

Although it’s tempting to hang laundry outdoors when it’s nice outside, it’s not a good idea if you’re suffering from allergies.

“Don’t dry any clothing outside because it’s capturing all of the pollen onto it and you’re bringing it in with you,” Hong added.

You can also try over-the-counter allergy medicines to help relieve some of your symptoms.  If nothing seems to help, Dr. Hong says, see an allergist.

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