As the temperature in Illinois continue to rise, medical providers at HSHS St. Francis Hospital are encouraging spring allergy sufferers to come up with a strategy to combat the upcoming season. From diagnosing preexisting allergies to recommending medications, providers say now is the time to prepare for the start of the allergy season beginning in April or May.
Medical experts at St. Francis encourage allergy sufferers to come up with a plan before the allergy season starts. Preventive strategies like knowing which allergies trigger you and securing medications before the season starts can make a big difference because often times it can take a couple of weeks for medications to be effective.
Most people's seasonal allergy and asthma symptoms are triggered by pollen. The types of pollens that trigger symptoms vary from person to person and region to region. Pollen is produced by most trees in the spring; grasses during late spring and summer; and ragweed and other late-producing plants in late summer and early fall. Pollen counts appear to be increasing on a yearly basis and the trend will likely continue.
Beyond medication, here are some additional tips for allergy sufferers:
- Do not dry your clothes on a clothesline, as the pollen in the air will stick to them.
- Keep windows closed and use air conditioning during peak pollen seasons.
- If you have asthma, avoid cutting grass or wear a mask.
- If you are outdoors during the day, shower at night and change your clothes.
- If you are bothered by hay fever or asthma, keep your grass cut short or replace it with a ground cover, such as Irish moss, bunch grass or dichondra. These options do not produce a significant amount of pollen.
- If you are purchasing trees for your yard, choose a crepe myrtle, dogwood, fig, fir, palm, pear, plum, redbud or redwood. Female cultivars of ash, box elder, cottonwood, maple, palm, poplar and willow trees are also good options.