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Avoiding Outdoor Allergens

Tips for Your Home, Car, Yard and More
  -- By Leanne Beattie, Health & Fitness Writer
Seasonal allergies affect more than 35 million people in the United States. Often prompted by sensitivities to outdoor allergens such as molds and pollens, seasonal allergy sufferers are prone to sneezing, congestion and itchy, watery eyes.

Allergy symptoms are often minimal on wet, cloudy or windless days because pollen does not circulate well under those conditions. Hot, dry and windy weather, however, increases the amount of pollen and mold in the air, resulting in more severe allergy symptoms.

If you are sensitive to outdoor pollens, you'll have symptoms at specific times of the year. If you have symptoms in the spring, you are probably allergic to tree pollens, while grass and weed pollens are most prevalent in the summer. If your allergies are worse in the later summer or fall, you are probably allergic to ragweed and tumbleweed pollens.

Here are some tips to help manage and control your exposure to outdoor allergens: The best way to avoid outdoor allergens is to plan ahead and work your life around your sensitivities. Knowing your area’s pollen count is a good place to start. The National Allergy Bureau gathers pollen and mold counts from across the country and reports them to the media several times each week; check your local newspaper or radio station for details. These results are also posted on the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology’s website.