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Your guide to living with Louisiana allergy season

Your guide to living with Louisiana allergy season

Spring brings the sound of chirping birds, flowers in bloom, plenty of sunshine…and pollen season? Yes, it’s true. While there’s a lot to look forward to this time of year, it’s also allergy season. Avoid a runny nose or watery eyes this spring and summer with LCMC Health by your side.

What’s blooming here in Louisiana?

Spring allergies typically start in late February in Louisiana and can linger until summer allergies begin around June.

Tree pollen is prevalent around this time. The cedar, ash, maple, oak and hickory trees common in our area release pollen that is picked up and spread around by the wind.

Grass pollen is also a common source of seasonal allergies in NOLA. Pollen levels from grass tend to peak a little later in the year than tree pollen, generally spiking in early summer.

If your allergies tend to last longer or appear at other times of year, you may have allergies to other common substances, such as dust mites, mold and pet dander—and when things warm up and bugs seem to be everywhere, we also see more allergies related to insect stings and bites.

Surviving and thriving during allergy season

We have some good news and some bad news. First, the bad news: New Orleans is considered an “allergy capital” of the United States, ranking 22nd out of 100 metro areas.

The good news? You don’t have to suffer. Try these tips to get ahead of your allergies this season:

  • Treat your allergies in advance. Talk with a medical provider, such as your primary care provider or an ENT specialist, about your seasonal allergy symptoms and what you can do to avoid them. Your provider may recommend allergy medication, such as an antihistamine or decongestant, or allergy shots, to keep your body from reacting when pollen hits the air.
  • Keep an eye on the pollen count. Check the pollen count on your weather app so you can plan more indoor activities on days when your allergen is highest.
  • Watch the weather, too. If you need to be outdoors for any reason, consider going out just after it rains, when pollen likely will have washed away. On the other hand, try to avoid venturing out on dry and windy days, when pollen is airborne.
  • Keep doors and windows closed. Yes, it’s tempting to pop open the windows when the temperatures warm up. When spring is in the air, though, so is pollen. Keep the pollen outside by minimizing the time that the doors and windows are open, both in your home and in your car.
  • Improve your indoor. The air you breathe indoors can help you avoid allergic reactions—if it’s allergen-free! Vacuum your space frequently using a HEPA filter, change your HVAC filters regularly and consider using a dehumidifier to keep the indoor humidity level low.

If you take all these precautions and still experience allergy symptoms such as a stuffy nose, sneezing or itchy eyes, try to treat your symptoms fast. Take medication designed to relieve those symptoms at the first sign of an allergic reaction to nip it in the bud. The faster you react, the sooner your symptoms will ease.

Feeling the effects of seasonal allergies? A primary care provider can help you find the right allergy remedy. Find a provider here.