Pollen2After a cold, snowy and icy winter in most parts of the United States, it’s finally time to embrace spring. Unfortunately, the excessive winter precipitation could lead to a more severe pollen allergy season, says Stanley Fineman, MD, board-certified allergist with Atlanta Allergy and Asthma Clinic and an Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA) board member.

“When trees take in more water, they thrive,” Dr. Fineman says. “When trees thrive, they release more pollen.”

Up-and-down temperatures, common in early spring, could lead to a more severe allergic reaction when temperatures rise again. “The initial exposure to pollen triggers some symptoms but basically primes the immune system for when it’s re-exposed to the pollen, causing an even more violent reaction,” Dr. Fineman says.

Protect yourself from the clogged airways, teary eyes, sneezing, coughing and wheezing that comes with pollen allergies. Here are some tips:

  1.  Use over-the-counter sterile saline eye drops and/or nasal spray frequently to flush out pollen from your eyes and nasal passages.

  2.  Take a bath or shower before going to bed to remove pollen collected in your hair during the day.

  3.  Use allergy medications before symptoms begin or at the first sign of symptoms to receive their maximum benefit.