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Allergy season has started early, but you can keep pollen from ruining your spring

Warming Ragweed
Posted at 5:46 PM, Mar 27, 2024

(WXYZ) — Spring has sprung, and so has allergy season. According to AccuWeather forecasts, Michigan is in for a "prolonged and intense" season this year.  

We've been enjoying the sunny and warm weather when it’s here, but it's important to note that our milder winter does have its drawbacks. You see, when winter isn’t cold enough, mold spores — which trigger allergies — don't freeze and plants start growing earlier, which makes the season longer.

That means folks with allergies can experience prolonged itchy eyes and runny noses, which definitely isn't enjoyable.

Currently, pollen tracker sites have Detroit and surrounding areas at Medium High level already. The top allergens include juniper, maple and elm. That’s not surprising because there are three main types of pollen that trigger seasonal allergies. They are tree pollen in early spring, followed by grasses and weeds later on.

This year, experts are predicting the grass pollen season to be “intense and prolonged” in many parts of the U.S., including here in the Midwest.

So, how can you keep pollen from ruining your spring?

To start, it's important to identify what you're allergic to. It’s best to consult an allergist who can run tests. Then, if pollen is one of your allergens, keep an eye on the pollen count. There are pollen trackers that can help you plan outdoor activities, as they provide real-time updates.

On high pollen days, it's best to stay indoors, keep your windows closed and change clothes after being outside. I would also suggest vacuuming the home weekly and using an allergy-reduction HVAC filter to improve indoor air.

For relief from allergy symptoms, over-the-counter nasal sprays and antihistamines can be effective. Additionally, for those with multiple allergies, immunotherapy, such as allergy shots, can help build tolerance to allergens over time.

Don’t let spring allergies sneak up on you. Start early and see your allergist to determine the best treatment plan for you.