Health Watch - Allergies: Reducing Allergens

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.


There’s an old joke that April showers bring May flowers, and May flowers bring hay fever. This week on Health Watch, we’ll talk about seasonal allergies, some related problems and what you can do about them. It’s nearly impossible to avoid pollen entirely, but there are things you can do to decrease your exposure.

Grass, tree and weed pollens can be carried for miles by the wind, so even if you lived in the desert, with no vegetation around at all, you might still encounter pollen. During peak pollen season, you can take steps to protect yourself. Dr. Rebecca Gruchalla, an allergist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says you should wash your face and hands when you come in from the outdoors to rinse away pollen. Wash your hair before you go to bed so you don’t transfer pollen to your pillow, where you’ll breathe it all night. On high-pollen days, stay indoors, keep your windows closed and use the air conditioner. An indoor air filter may also help.

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May 2011


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