When the Spring season evolves, allergic symptoms tend to worsen over time.

The first day of Spring 2018 is right around the corner, March 20. With this date normally comes the sounds of birds chirping, the sight of blooming flowers and the start of consistently warmer temperatures.

As the region is finally thawing from the harsh winter freeze, the annual spring pollen season will soon arrive.

When the Spring season evolves, allergic symptoms tend to worsen over time. But, according to Ochsner Baton Rouge allergy, asthma and immunology specialist Dr. John Erffmeyer, symptoms may intensify and become more troublesome this year. This may lead to some needing to seek treatment from a healthcare provider.

If you are one of the 36 million Americans who suffer each year from seasonal allergies, then you know that the runny nose, and itchy, weepy eyes are almost inevitable. While there isn’t a “cure” for seasonal allergies, and it’s hard to stop Mother Nature, there are a few things you can do to minimize symptoms:

1. At home and in the car, close the windows and run the air conditioning, if needed.

2. When pollen and mold levels are high, stay indoors.

3. Wear a pollen mask during a prolonged stay outdoors.

4. When you come inside, wash your hair and change your clothes.

5. Ask someone else to mow the lawn and rake leaves.

6. Consider hosing the pollen off your car and front porch often.

7. Don’t wear outside shoes in the house.

8. Don't hang clothing or linens outside to dry.

9. Take allergy medication as prescribed.

10. See your physicians if symptoms are worse than normal or become unbearable.

There are times when allergies can become more than just bothersome. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and the American Lung Association – allergens are one of triggers that can cause an asthma attack.

So, if you think your seasonal symptoms are advanced and causing you to feel miserable, see your physician.

Dr. Erffmeyer is board certified in internal medicine and allergy and immunology and has been on staff at Ochsner since 1987. He treats both adult and pediatric allergies.

For appointments at any Ochsner Health Center across the Baton Rouge region, call 225-761-5200 or visit www.ochsner.org/info. Online appointments can also be made through the MyOchsner patient portal or by clicking Online Appointments.

Contributed by Ochsner Baton Rouge