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Allergic Rhinitis and Pollen

Allergic rhinitis is a term that describes symptoms of inflammation in nose and eyes from allergy exposure. Symptoms include: runny, itchy, sneezy and stuffy nose as well as associated eye itching and watering. Because of our temperate climate zone in North Carolina, we can experience rhinitis due to pollens most of the year. However, pollen allergies are the worst from March thru June and then mid-August thru October.

Pollen Avoidance
  • Limit outdoor activity from 5AM to 10AM this is when the pollen counts are the highest
  • Limit outdoor activity on windy days; rain can wash pollen out of air but usually pollen counts get back to high levels in 1-2 days after a rain.
  • Keep car and house windows closed during pollen season. Use air conditioning. Replace A/C filters as needed.
  • Shower, wash hair, and change clothes after spending time outdoors.
  • Pets can also carry pollen into the house.
  • Wear a mask (such as NIOSH rated 95 filter mask) when doing yard work.
  • Keep lawn and vacant lots mowed to prevent grasses from pollinating and blooming.
  • Do not hang clothes to dry outside; pollen will cling to these and get into your house.
  • If avoidance is not enough, you may need to talk with your doctor/allergist about allergy medications or even allergy immunotherapy for a more permanent relief.