The blooming season has begun, and your allergies have started to blossom too. You dread the idea of months of suffering; the sneezing, watery and itchy eyes, and general misery that comes with spring. How can you make this allergy season more tolerable? Your Phoenix eye care professional recommends these allergy wellness tips.

1. Plan ahead

The best tactic in the war against allergy season is to plan ahead. If you need allergy medication, start taking it slightly before the season begins for the most effective treatment. This helps your body prevent the inflammatory response from typical allergens in the first place. Once your body starts to react, it can be hard, if not impossible, to get the inflammation under control.

2. Cleanliness

Washing your face after you’ve been outside, and showering before bedtime will rinse away pollen and dust on your skin and hair. Keep dogs and cats bathed and as clean as possible to prevent them from bringing allergens into your home. While impractical to bathe them daily, try a special allergy solution that is wiped on the animal, minimizing the effects of their dander. Consult your eye care or allergy professional for more details on these products. Vacuum carpets well and wipe down surfaces regularly to minimize the amount of pollutants inside your home.

3. Using your HVAC

During allergy season (and really, any other time of year), it is critical to replace your HVAC system filter monthly. Be sure to purchase a filter designed to remove most allergens, and set a reminder that will let you know it’s time for replacement. Air filters cannot effectively remove pollutants if they are clogged and dirty. Keep your windows closed and use your cooling system rather than allow wind to blow dust and pollen into your house.

4. Natural Help

Rather than using chemicals and medications, you can opt for homeopathic cures. Herbs and foods that naturally fight inflammation, saline as part of your eye care routine or in a method called nasal irrigation, and even acupuncture have been shown to help allergy sufferers immensely without the potentially dangerous side effects of allergy medications.

Rather than being in misery this spring, there are plenty of ways you can reduce the severity of your suffering. Talk to your Phoenix eye care professional before the season begins to ensure that you are comfortable even though the world is in bloom.