Dr. William Reisacher, director of Allergy in the Department of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, said some ways to help allergy sufferers survive the summer include:
-- Stay in an air-conditioned space. Air conditioners can filter out large airborne pollen particles, whereas window fans draw pollen inside. Keep your windows closed.
-- Cut back on morning outdoor activities. Pollen counts are usually highest between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. Shower and shampoo after playing or working outside.
-- Avoid stinging insects. Always wear shoes when walking in the grass and don't forget to carry medication in case of an emergency.
-- Take medications. Eye drops, nose spray and non-sedating antihistamines can relieve symptoms temporarily, but taking it an hour before exposure can decrease symptom severity. Sublingual immunotherapy is a way to deliver allergy medications orally, via liquid drops. This type of treatment can be performed before and during the allergy season to desensitize allergy sufferers who only experience symptoms during the spring months.
-- Remove contact lenses. If you wear contact lenses, remove them if you have red, swollen or itchy eyes. Contact lenses can further irritate eye allergies and make the condition worse.
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