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Asthma Care

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Spring is in the air. Unfortunately, so are the many tree and grass pollens that cause seasonal allergies. This can be bad news if these tiny particles cause your asthma to fare up. But the change in seasons doesn’t mean you need to stay indoors until next winter. There are many ways you can limit your contact with pollen and still enjoy the nice weather.

Take Action to Avoid Pesky Pollens

If you are allergic to pollen, you may notice that your asthma is worse on days that are hot, dry and windy. Your symptoms may lessen when it is rainy and windless, because the air is not so heavy with pollen on these days.

You can check daily pollen counts for your area at

www.aaaai.org/nab. The National Allergy Bureau updates the Web site daily during pollen season. Try to stay indoors as much as you can when the count is at higher levels. If you must be outside on those days, wear a face mask.

Other ways you can limit your contact with pollen include the following:

●● Keep pollen outside. Close windows in your home and car. If possible, use an air

conditioner set on recirculate, which not only cools you of but also reduces how much pollen gets inside. Avoid using window and attic fans, which blow pollen into the house.

●● Ask a nonallergic family member to handle yard work, like mowing the lawn.

●● Avoid hanging laundry outside during high pollen counts.

●● Shower and change your clothes after spending time outside. This will help remove pollen from your clothing, hair and skin.

Don’t Keep Wheezing

If you try to avoid pollen but your symptoms don’t improve or get worse, talk with your doctor. Your

How to Survive Spring Allergy Season

doctor may want to revisit your triggers to see if something else is causing the symptoms.

To help you feel better, your doctor may want to change your treatment plan. He or she may recommend new prescription medications or immunotherapy shots, which reduce your body’s reaction to allergens over time.

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While science can’t yet explain why, hospital admission sometimes increase during thunderstorms. A combination of humidity, pollen and mold spores, air pollution and wind could be to blame. If a storm strikes, have your medication on hand.

Watch for Spring Storms

An Asthma Action Plan can help you know what to do when symptoms start up. Get a FREE copy from our Web site. Log in at

hap.org, then click the My Health & Wellness

tab. Select Disease Management in the right-hand column, then choose Asthma from the column on the left.

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