As winter turns to spring, we begin to think more about outside activities. However, spending more time outside is not always a good idea for everybody. Spring is when people with allergies usually suffer the most. If you are suffering from allergies, check out these frequently asked questions:

In general, what are people most allergic to?

Springtime allergies are most often due to tree pollen and in more humid climates, outdoor mold. Grass pollen is a big cause of summer allergies and weed pollen causes fall allergies.

What is the best treatment for allergies?

Initially, over-the-counter antihistamines can be tried for relief of allergy symptoms. Your health care provider should be consulted if you fail to respond to the use of over-the-counter antihistamines.

What other steps can be taken to reduce allergy symptoms?

  • Stay indoors on dry, windy days. The best time to go outside is after a rain, which helps clear pollen from the air.
  • Delegate lawn mowing, weed pulling, and other gardening chores that stir up allergens.
  • After spending time outside, take a shower to rinse pollen from your skin and hair and put on clean clothes.
  • Wear a face mask if you do outside chores
  • Start taking over-the-counter antihistamines when high pollen counts are forecasted even before your symptoms start.
  • Use air conditioning in your house and car.
  • Use high-efficiency air filters and change them frequently.
  • Keep indoor air dry with a dehumidifier.
  • Clean floors frequently with a vacuum cleaner.

How do you distinguish allergies from a cold?

The symptoms of a cold and allergies are similar. However, colds and allergies differ in three respects. A fever is common with a cold, but not for those suffering with allergies. Allergy sufferers frequently have itchy eyes, nose, throat, and even the roof of the mouth, but itchiness is not common with colds. Another distinguishing characteristic between colds and allergies is the duration of the symptoms. Colds usually last for 3-7 days, while allergy symptoms may last for an entire season.