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Pollen is there to help plants reproduce, not to bug you. But it does. If you inhale it, it can cause allergy symptoms such as:

  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy throat
  • Cough

It's a lot like a cold, plus a sore throat and hoarseness, and you usually get it like clockwork when the plants that make the bothersome pollen are blooming.

5 Ways to Keep Pollen Out of Your Home

  1. Close your windows and outside doors.
  2. Avoid using window and attic fans during pollen season. Use air-conditioning to cool your home.
  3. Roll up your car windows when driving. Use the air-conditioning if you need it.
  4. Dry clothing and bedding in the dryer. Don't hang them outside.
  5. Remember that pets can bring in pollen on their fur, too. Don't allow pets that spend time outdoors in your bedroom.

If you have to be outside, follow these guidelines to minimize your exposure to pollen:

  • Check pollen counts before planning outdoor activities.
  • Avoid being outdoors in the early morning, when pollen is most widespread.
  • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from pollen.
  • Have someone else mow your grass. Don't rake leaves during pollen season. If you must do yard work, wear a mask.
  • Going on vacation? Look for a place where pollen is low, such as the beach, or take your medications with you.
  • Change your clothing when you come indoors. Shower and wash your hair first.

seasonal allergy map tool