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Article updated: 3/20/2013 10:13 AM

Spring into action against allergies

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By David Hass

DUPAGE COUNTY--Spring arrives today and the DuPage County Health Department has suggestions for people with hay fever to limit their exposure to pollen and mold.

Spring marks the beginning of symptoms for people who cope with this allergy. Seasonal hay fever is one of the most common kinds of allergies. About 35 million Americans suffer from hay fever. Symptoms include sneezing, stuffiness, a runny nose, and itchiness in your nose, the roof of your mouth, throat, eyes or ears. Sometimes the symptoms can turn into chronic respiratory problems, such as asthma.

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There is no cure, but the Health Department recommends these steps to limit your exposure to the pollen and mold that cause your symptoms:

• Keep track of pollen and mold levels in the air and try to stay indoors when levels are reported to be high.

• Wear a pollen mask if long periods of exposure are unavoidable.

• Keep your windows closed in your house and car.

• If possible, use air conditioning. It cleans, cools and dries the air.

• Don't mow lawns or rake leaves because it stirs up pollen and mold. If you can't avoid these activities, wear a mask.

• Avoid hanging sheets or clothes outside to dry. Pollen can adhere to the fabric.

• Take a shower after coming indoors. Otherwise, pollen in your hair may bother you all night.

You can also try using over-the-counter remedies to control your symptoms. Talk to your doctor to find out what medication or other treatments are best for you.

For more information on the DuPage County Health Department, follow us on Twitter @DuPageHD or become a fan on Facebook.

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