As if the long Winter wasn't bad enough, Polar Vortex, mountains of snow starting in late January and more than making up for the lack of snow we got at the beginning of the season, now as a reminder that Spring has arrived, it's also allergy season.

In competition with cold/flu season, allergies are really ramping up this year. Especially now that plants are starting to bud, and the pollen count just keeps going higher and higher. We suffer from seasonal allergies in my house, and this past Winter has been especially bad for atopical dermatitis (eczema) brought on by drier weather. To add insult to injury, as it gets warmer, not only are we dealing with itchy and blotchy skin, add in a runny nose, itchy eyes, scratchy throat, and a cough that just won't go away, it's pure misery.

I found a spot that I can track pollen counts, so I know when to keep the windows closed and take the antihistamines to help with the symptoms. has a forecast for pollen amounts as well as good information about what the allergens are at any given time. All you have to do is put in your zip code and you'll see what our area is dealing with.

It's unfortunate after it's been so cold and snowy for long, we want to open our windows to enjoy the fresh air. That may not be the best idea if you are an allergy sufferer. In addition to keeping your windows closed, here's a few more tips to help avoid those allergens:


  • Limit exposure on mornings that are especially warm and dry; these will usually be the high pollen count days. Days that are dry and windy also have high pollen counts. The best time for outdoor activities is immediately following a heavy rainfall.
  • Avoid line drying your clothes and bedding outdoors when yourlocal pollen count is high.
  • Wash your face and hands after you’ve been outside to remove pollen. Also, change and wash clothes if they’ve been exposed to pollen.
  • Bathe and shampoo hair daily before going to bed to remove pollen from hair and skin in order to keep it off your bedding. Wash bedding in hot, soapy water once a week.
  • Minimize contact with items that have come in contact with pollen, such as pets and people that have spent a large amount of time outdoors.


And, the most important one, check with your doctor if you suffer from allergies, they will have the best course of action for you to take, including the best antihistamines for your personal situation.


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