Health Watch -- Warm Weather Worries (Part 4)

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

Spring flowers have more to offer than just beauty.

As springtime approaches, flowers start to bloom and plants come back to life - and allergy sufferers run for their tissue boxes. But allergy specialists at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas say you don't necessarily have to be a prisoner in your home in your attempts to avoid pollen.

By taking a few precautions, you can enjoy the outdoors while minimizing your exposure to pollen. Dr. David Khan, a UT Southwestern allergist, says you should stay indoors in the early morning hours. That's when tree and grass pollens are at their peak. Keep your windows closed in your house and car during this time.

When you do go outdoors for any extended period of time, take a shower and wash your hair when you come back inside. Hair acts like a magnet for pollen, and if you go to bed with pollen in your hair, that pollen gets all over your pillow. You'll be exposing yourself to pollen all night.

Avid gardeners who also suffer from allergies might consider wearing a mask while they work in the yard or garden. That's especially important for people who are allergic to grass when they mow the lawn.

If seasonal allergies are getting in the way of your life, talk to your doctor or visit an allergist. You can get advice on the best medications to deal with your symptoms or get treatment for your specific allergies.


March 2004