5 hacks to keep outdoor allergy symptoms at bay this spring

By Katy Galimberti, AccuWeather staff writer

Outdoor seasonal allergies are a problem for millions around the globe. As the weather turns milder into the spring season, allergens are unleashed.

Tree, grass and weed pollen are some of the most common triggers for outdoor allergies, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Up to 30 percent of the worldwide population suffers from hay fever.

Though medicine is commonly used to battle seasonal allergy, AccuWeather talked to an expert with tips on how to mitigate allergy symptoms. Here are five hacks to keep your allergies at bay this season:

1. Shower at night

Experts say showering at night can make for a much more pleasant night of sleep for those with outdoor allergies. By washing off all the pollen from skin and hair at night, it keeps the allergens off bed sheets and pillows.

When it is time to wash bedding, make sure to do it in hot water to remove as much pollen as possible.


Ragweed plants are seen on a vacant lot during a field trip for medical students and others in Newark, N.J., in this Aug. 19, 2004, file photo. (AP Photo/Mike Derer)

2. Stay inside in the morning

"Pollen counts are highest in the early morning, between 5 and 10 a.m.," Robert Sporter, M.D. at ENT & Allergy Associates in New York City, told AccuWeather.

The best time to go outside is right after a heavy rain, as it washes the pollen out of the air. Allergy sufferers will have the most trouble on dry, warm and windy days.

3. Keep indoor air clean

Close house and car windows when pollen counts are high, Sporter said. Use air conditioning in the car and at home to filter the pollen out of the air.

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The Mayo Clinic suggests using a portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter in your bedroom and vacuuming often.

4. Avoid some foods

Some people with severe pollen allergies may have trouble eating raw and fresh fruit.

"For example, some patients very allergic to birch tree pollen get an itchy mouth when they eat fresh apples, but cooked apples, like in apple pie, don't cause symptoms," Sporter said.

5. Dress appropriately outdoors

Wearing a wide-brim hat and sunglasses can keep pollen out of eyes, experts at Yale Health said.

While limiting outdoor exposure is best, Sporter said some may need to wear a mask if being outside is unavoidable and symptoms are severe.

For more safety and preparedness tips, visit AccuWeather.com/Ready.

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