How do you know spring has arrived here in New England? Birds are chirping—and people are sneezing.


That’s right, spring allergies are in the air!


This time of year, when tree and grass pollen counts are high, many suffer with allergy symptoms like stuffy nose, watery eyes, congested ears, sore throat, and sneezing. While very (very!) annoying, allergies aren’t usually bad enough to warrant a sick day or the need to postpone a job interview.


But, let’s face it, we’re nowhere near our best when they strike.


If you think you have seasonal allergies, see your Doctor to get his or her advice on treatment options. In the meantime, we at Masiello Employment created a guide to surviving spring allergy season.


  1. Stay Indoors. We get it: the weather is finally nice and you want to be outside but, to avoid the kind of allergy symptoms that have you blowing through a box of tissues in 12 hours, it’s smart to stay inside when possible, especially on windy days (which kicks up the most pollen) and around mid-day (when pollen counts are often at their highest).


  1. Keep the Outdoors Out. At home and in your car, keep the doors and windows closed; if possible, invest in a home air purifier to eliminate any pollen from your indoor air.


  1. Become a Quick-Change Artist. When you return home, quickly take off your shoes and change your clothes (and throw them right in the washing machine); if your symptoms are really bad, take a shower and wash your hair.


  1. Work-Out Without Going Out. Instead of enjoying the kind of outdoor exercise we recommended in a previous blog, now is the time to go to the gym or use that old Tae Bo® DVD gathering dust in your living room. If the great outdoors is still your preferred place to torch some calories, work-out as early in the day as possible, before pollen counts rise, or wear a scarf or surgical mask as a protective barrier.


  1. Use Topical Treatments First. Before you jump right into serious over-the-counter or Doctor-prescribed medications, try mild treatments first (like saline nasal spray or rinse, eye drops, and/or gargling with salt water), to see if they relieve your symptoms.


  1. Avoid Daytime Drowsiness. If you choose to take medication, whether prescribed by your Doctor or purchased over-the-counter, make sure you fully understand the potential side effects. Whatever you do for work, chances are feeling tired and foggy won’t help you perform your best, so avoid taking things during the day that may cause drowsiness.


  1. Acknowledge Your Allergies. It’s easy to think of allergies as just a little annoyance as you continue to go about your day. But having allergies can be serious, and can take a serious toll on your health. So when the going gets bad, treat yourself right: eat nutritious food, avoid alcohol, stay well hydrated, don’t push yourself too hard, and go to bed early.


If all else fails, remember that spring in New England lasts about 30 seconds, which means you won’t be suffering too long with any spring allergy symptoms.