Now is the time to protect yourself against spring allergies, health experts say

Published: Feb. 15, 2023 at 10:16 AM CST
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(CNN) - As many as 60 million people suffer from seasonal allergies in the U.S. and health experts say you can limit symptoms before they even start.

”Starting to block inflammation now can really help not only at the start of symptoms but also kind of make it a better season overall,” allergist and immunologist at National Jewish Health Dr. Flavia Hoyte said.

Hoyte recommends a steroid nasal spray. There are some over-the-counter sprays, but Hoyte says to make sure that it is a nasal steroid.

“Using two sprays per nostril on a daily basis helps to kind of minimize the inflammation. It takes a couple of weeks to build up in your system and then when the pollen comes full force, you’re ready to fight it,” Hoyte said.

Hoyte says over-the-counter therapies, like antihistamines, whether it is a pill or a nasal spray, may help, too. Nasal irrigation devices like a Neti-pot can also be helpful.

“Those can be started closer to the allergy season, but the allergy steroids, we really say to start around this time of year,” Hoyte said.

Hoyte said now is also the time to think about keeping the outside environment from getting inside your home.

That means when it starts warming up, keep windows closed in both your car and at home and make sure pets don’t bring pollen into your bed.

“The pollen starts floating around before you can see the leaves on the trees so it can catch people off guard,” Hoyte said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that climate change could add to allergy woes potentially leading to higher pollen concentrations and longer pollen seasons.