Allergy Sufferers Can Take Steps to Obtain Relief


Sniffing, sneezing and watery eyes are a sure sign of spring for hay fever sufferers, but health officials say there are ways to enjoy the great outdoors without being overpowered by pollen.

Seasonal allergies can be controlled through medication, pet control and by limiting outdoor activities, said Los Angeles County Public Health Director Jonathan Fielding.

“There are actions people can take to exert control over their environment and reduce exposure to the pollen and mold spores which are triggering their allergies,” he said.


Fielding recommends that allergy sufferers consult a physician to determine the best medications for their condition; minimize the time spent outdoors during morning hours, when pollen counts are highest; avoid spending long periods outdoors on windy and humid days; and exercise vigorously to temporarily clear congested sinuses.

Fielding advises people with allergies to keep doors and windows closed at home and in cars, use air conditioning whenever possible and run car air conditioners on the recirculate mode to avoid drawing in outside air.

Additionally, pets should be kept inside or outside--but not both. “This will prevent your animals from tracking pollen inside and transferring the particles to household furnishings,” he said.

Seasonal allergies result from pollen or molds contacting the eyes, noses and throats of people who are sensitive to those irritants, he said. Pollen is the most common cause of allergies in the spring, especially with the regrowth of grass.

Molds usually are more prevalent in autumn, when vegetation starts to decay, he said, although mold counts have been relatively high in recent months.

For information about allergies, call the Asthma and Allergy Foundation at (800) 624-0044 or visit the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology’s Web site at