When April showers bring spring allergies

The key is keeping out as much of the pollen as possible:

• Stay indoors when the pollen count is high. You'll find pollen count information on most online weather sites these days. Avoid working out in the morning, when pollen usually is at its peak.

• Do a thorough job of spring cleaning – don't forget carpets, vents and other places where pollen can hide. Change your air filters, too. Vacuum at least twice a week.

• Wear a mask when doing yard work.

• Keep the windows closed. While a fresh spring breeze might sound inviting, it also can invite pollen into your house.

• Wash your hair and change your clothes once you return from the great outdoors. This will keep the pollen that hitched a ride into the house from spreading.

• If hay fever still tortures you despite your best efforts, there are a number of over-the-counter remedies that can help. Saline eye drops can relieve irritation, while saline nose sprays can help wash away pollen before it triggers an attack. Air humidifiers help as well.

• You also can visit your nearest Doctors Care location, where a doctor will be able to recommend treatment options, such as an antihistamine that will ease symptoms or perhaps a steroid that often helps. Most medications work best if taken daily and not just when symptoms flare up – your doctor will be able to tell you more about this.

• Also see your doctor if you start to show signs of a sinus infection – facial pain or pressure that goes beyond stuffiness, discolored mucus and or nasal discharge, headache or fever. Many times, antibiotics are needed to treat these infections.