Hay fever season runs from August through October. Because of the ragweed pollen and mold spores in the air, you may experience nasal congestion, sneezing, a runny nose, or itchy or red eyes. These symptoms only add to the normal congestion caused by pregnancy-related swelling of the nostrils.
Normally, the immune system responds to a threat, such as harmful bacteria, by releasing chemicals to destroy it. Allergies occur when your immune system reacts the same way to harmless substances such as pollen or animal dander.
Your first line of defense is to avoid contact with substances that trigger your allergies. If you're allergic to pollen or mold, for example, follow these steps to reduce your exposure:
- Instead of opening windows, use air-conditioning. Clean the filter in your home unit once a month until the end of October.
- Avoid outdoor activities when the pollen count is high (check local levels at aaaai.org).
- Change clothes after spending time outdoors, and shower to remove pollen from hair and skin.
- Don't hang sheets and clothing outside to dry.
- Have someone else rake leaves or mow the lawn.