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How to avoid your allergies

Fortunately, Dr. Sweet says there are ways to fight allergies.

MINNEAPOLIS - “I’m allergic to everything,” said Lisa Bautista, who suffers from allergies.

And unfortunately, her problem is all too common. According to her doctor, Dr. John Sweet with Hennepin Healthcare, one in six people have allergies.

“Watery eyes, itchy eyes, stuffy nose, congestion,” Sweet said.

Those symptoms can be seasonal, or for some, they can last all year long.

During the winter months, we tend to deal with indoor allergies like dust, mold and animal dander.

“You tend to see a lot more indoor allergies when people close up the house, turn on the heating systems,” said Dr. Sweet.

During the spring months, beginning now for us, tree and grass pollen are high.

“So people can start reacting from the first snow melt. Any winds from the south can carry pollens hundreds of miles where the trees are budding,” said Sweet.

And during the summer months, grass and weed pollens are the main culprits.

Fortunately, Dr. Sweet says there are ways to fight allergies, like:

  • Wash your bed sheets at least once a week
  • Wipe down surfaces once a week
  • Shower before bed
  • Take off shoes, hats, jackets at the door
  • Take allergy medicine a week or two before your allergy season

"It can be very tempting as it gets warmer to open the windows," Sweet said. "You don’t want to do that. Keep the outside out. Don’t let the pollens or possible molds into the house.”

If you suffer from allergies all year round, you might benefit from an allergy shot or "allergy desensitization."

That process, Dr. Sweet says, can teach your immune system to not react to the dust, mold or pollen that you are allergic to. For more information on allergen avoidance head to www.missionallergy.com.

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