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We got expert advice on what you can do to keep seasonal allergies under control


Spring is finally here, which means so are allergies.

Perhaps you've already experienced a few symptoms or are going through it right now -- tissues and all!

Although there's no avoiding pesky pollen, which is expected to double in count by 2040 as a result of climate change, there are steps you can take to make life a lot easier and sniffle free.

Circa's Kay Angrum sat down with preventive medicine physician Dr. Tania Elliott to share helpful tips on how to survive allergy season.

From figuring out how to identify allergy triggers to clothes you can wear to avoid pollen, Elliott shares all.

Q: What's a good way to keep track of my symptoms?
A: So, first thing is kind of take a log of like, OK, when am I having symptoms the most? If it's when you're waking up first thing in the morning, the likelihood is then it's an indoor allergy. Or is it when you go outside and you're running around through the park and all of a sudden you feel like your face is drooping then it's most likely pollen.

Q: Why does pollen make you sneeze?
A: These are fine particles expended in the air. So, what happens is you breathe it in. It goes into your nasal passages and it's tickling your nasal passages and it's trickling the sneeze. It's also triggering increased mucous production, swelling, itching, all that congestion. Some people wear nasal filters in their nose.

Q: How can you spot the difference between allergies and the common cold?
A: There are three things that will help you distinguish. So, number 1 is the duration of symptoms. If you're having symptoms a week, two weeks, three weeks or more, the likelihood is that it's allergies, because a cold typically lasts 7 days or less. Also, the timing of your symptoms. If it occurs every April that's lasting for two weeks again likelihood that it's allergy related. The third thing relates to your symptoms. If you have a fever or swollen lymph nodes, then it ain't allergies. It's most likely an infection.

Q: What are everyday steps someone can take to avoid allergy symptoms?
A: Don't wear hairspray. I'm sorry ladies and guys who like to use the pomade and things like that. You know why? Because pollen will stick to it and then you come inside and you've just tracked all the pollen indoors and now it's suspended in your indoor area. Another thing is contact lens wearers: try to switch over to glasses, because the contact lenses are also an attractant for pollen. So, that's why people are rubbing their eyes and have itchy eyes or you can do the daily throw always or if you have the monthly what you have, you can wear sunglasses. The other thing is if you like to wear lashes and your fake lashes and things like that, you want to make sure that you scrub in between your eyelashes. So, you can use a bit of baby shampoo, put it on a little cotton swab and just scrub in between the eyelashes, because pollen will get stuck there.

Q: It feels like the pollen has gotten worse this year than in previous years. Why is that?
A: The share volume of pollen each and every year increases and part of that is because of global warming and the extreme changes in temperature. It's getting warmer earlier on in the year. The other piece of it is especially in urban areas is pollution. Diesel exhaust and other things that are released into the air actually bind to the pollen and then it can make super pollen.

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