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Tips for allergy sufferers

SAN ANTONIO – Spring can be a rough time for allergy sufferers.

Taking medication helps, but a game-plan of avoidance measures can also be put together to alleviate symptoms on even the highest pollen-count days.

"The avoidance measure of relevance, with respect to the pollen season, is air conditioning," said the Cleveland Clinic's Dr. David Lang. "With the air conditioning on and the windows closed, you cut down on the pollen count indoors by 90 percent or more."

Lang said the air conditioning rule applies to your home, car, and office.

Neti pots or saline sprays may also provide some temporary relief. Rinsing the nasal cavity could flush out pollen and other allergens.

Another thing you can try is to change your clothes each time you come inside. He said microscopic pollen particles can latch onto fabrics and your skin, so changing and taking a shower can help.

Lang says if nothing else, keep your windows closed -- especially in the morning.

"There are certain plants that release pollen early in the morning," he said. "If you've got the screen open, the window open, and air is coming in through the screen, you're starting your day with a pretty high dose, in terms of exposures to pollens, that's going to drive your symptoms."

Lang said you can also try a portable air purifier with a high-efficiency particulate air -- or HEPA -- filter that may trap some of the particles that make it inside your home.


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