There is much to look forward to when springs arrives — longer hours of sunlight, warmer temperatures, blooming flowers, and leaves budding on trees. One side effect of so much foliage in bloom is the return of seasonal spring allergies like hay fever or allergic rhinitis.

The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAI) indicates that allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the United States. More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year. While there is no cure for seasonal allergies, the ACAI offers suggestions regarding how to live with allergies more comfortably.

  • Stay indoors on dry, windy days. It’s better to go outside after it rains, which clears pollen from the air.
  • Modify indoor environments to keep allergens out. An HEPA filter in HVAC systems can better trap spores.
  • Consider vacations near the ocean or other bodies of water, as pollen counts tend to be lower in these areas.
  • Delegate lawn mowing and other tasks that involve stirring up allergens to someone else. If you must do gardening and landscaping, wear a face mask to filter out some allergens.
  • Close windows or doors when pollen counts are especially high.
  • Wash hair and clothes when coming indoors to rinse out allergens that would transfer to pillowcases or furniture.
  • Speak to an allergist who can recommend medications or other treatments that can improve seasonal allergies. Corticosteroids reduce inflammation and antihistamines can help reduce sneezing or itchy eyes.

Seasonal allergies are a potential pitfall of the spring season. However, there are remedies that can help alleviate the suffering.