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According to the National Oceanic and Atmo­spheric Administration (NOAA), December 2015 through February 2016 was the warmest winter on record. The mild weather is triggering an unusually early release of pollen that causes pesky allergy symptoms. Beyond the itchy eyes, sneezing and runny nose, one overlooked side effect of allergies is dry or irritated lips.

For allergy suffers, managing allergy symptoms is paramount to get through the season. It starts with the skin, as it is the first line of defense. Dry and cracked lips cause fissures in the skin, leaving them more susceptible to infection. Additionally, by relieving the lip discomfort, allergy sufferers also feel better, which in turn helps them rest and recover.

Here are a few tips to help alleviate allergy symptoms include:

  • Using a moisturizing lip balm can provide comforting relief and protection for lips that are feeling under the weather due to allergies.
  • Bathe in cool water useing a mild soap without perfume or color.
  • Wash your laundry in hot water with a temperature of 130 degrees or greater.

Your Car Can Make Your Allergies Worse

Don’t let the joys of warm weather driving be diminished by the irritating pollen and pollutants drawn into your car through the air-conditioning and ventilation systems.

Cabin air filters clean the incoming air, removing allergens, as long as they’re replaced regularly. A dirty or clogged cabin air filter causes contaminants to become so concentrated in the cabin that passengers actually breathe more fumes and particles when riding in the car than when walking in the street. Replacing the cabin air filter is a simple way to help you and breathe easier while driving.

In addition to trapping pollen, bacteria, dust and exhaust gases, the air filter prevents leaves, bugs and other debris from entering the heating, ventilating and air-conditioning system. A restricted cabin air filter can mean musty odors in the vehicle and impair airflow in the system, possibly causing interior heating and cooling problems. Over time, the system may also become damaged by corrosion.

Cabin air filters should not be cleaned and reinstalled. Instead, they should be replaced every 12,000 to 15,000 miles, or per the owner’s manual.


While researchers continue to focus on a vaccine to control allergic responses, there are steps you can take now to help moderate the effects of allergens during peak seasonal-allergy times. Here are some time-proven tips to take control of seasonal allergies:

1.     Minimize outdoor activities in the morning. Pollen counts are typically highest during the early hours of the day. Whenever possible, avoid outdoor activities during these hours.

2.     Change clothes frequently. When you arrive home, especially after working outdoors, change clothes and take a shower to get rid of as many allergens as possible.

3.     Close windows. If you suffer from allergies, resist the temptation to open up the windows to the pleasant springtime air. Many people like to sleep with windows open during the spring, which allows more pollen to enter the home.

4.     Keep the indoor air as clean as possible. Use a high-performance air purifier, contaminants from the air, such as dust, pollen and pet dander. Also, vacuum frequently with a high-performance HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) vacuum cleaner to remove allergens that have settled from the air. A vacuum without this filter may make allergies and asthma worse by disturbing and blowing the dust particles in the air.

These simple steps can reduce the levels of airborne pollen in your air at home, easing your springtime allergies and helping everyone in the house breathe better during periods when seasonal allergies are at their highest levels.

Seasonal allergies are nothing to sneeze at, but keeping the air in your home as pollen- and pollution-free as possible can help.