HealthBeat4: Tips to help allergy sufferers feel a little less m - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

HealthBeat4: Tips to help allergy sufferers feel a little less miserable this spring


It's finally spring and while some Siouxlanders are looking forward to whipping out their shorts and flip-flops, others are preparing for another allergy season.

"As soon as the weather starts to warm up and the ground starts to thaw, then the trees start getting excited," said Christopher Tumpkin.

That's when spring allergy season begins. Dr. Christopher Tumpkin is a specialist at Sioux City Allergy and Asthma. He said allergy sufferers experience symptoms similar to the common cold, like a runny nose, congestion, itchy eyes and coughing.

"Because your immune system is upset over the fact that you're breathing in these things that it doesn't appreciate," said Tumpkin.

Like tree and flower pollens; and when it's nice out, Tumpkin said, allergens like these can sneak into your home.

"It's kind of like, 'Ah the fresh air of spring, let me open my window.' Well, as soon as you do that, the allergens are coming right on in with the wind flow," said Tumpkin.

However, Tumpkin said there are some simple strategies that can minimize the amount of pollen getting in your home. First...

"You don't open your windows... you know, a lot of us love that kind of a feel, but it's just deadly for people that have allergies. It just makes them miserable."

Second, Tumpkin said if you have spring allergies, avoid drying laundry outside.

"Something about that fresh air and drying our clothes, terrible for allergies. They just stick to the clothes and you wear them all day long," said Tumpkin.

Third, if you've been outside, make sure you take a shower.

"You've got to get the allergens out of your hair, off your skin. Because then what happens is you're just depositing them on your bed, on your couch and even on your carpet. And then they stay there and even when your inside, you're not completely away from it," said Tumpkin.

Which doesn't give your body a chance to recover.

"You're just kind of constantly stimulating your immune system inside and outside if you don't take some of those strategies," said Tumpkin.

Along with these strategies, Tumpkin suggests getting a HEPA air filter, which helps minimize pollen, and a good vacuums for your home.

Dr. Tumpkin said because Siouxland saw a below average snowfall this winter, the pollen count should be significantly lower compared to some southern states that got hit with heavy snow. However, because spring weather conditions are still up in the air, so are predictions for the spring pollen count.

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