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When the weather starts to warm up, people tend to breathe a sigh of relief. Spring typically means a return to outdoor activities and lengthening days. It can also be a time for illnesses and health problems. Being prepared for potential springtime
ailments can help you enjoy a healthy start to the season.
Budding trees, bushes and flowers release pollen into the spring air. Depending on where you live, spring allergies can start as early as February. And a rainy spring can promote mold growth, leading to many months of symptoms.
You can combat spring allergies with medicines. But many allergy medicines work best when they are in your system before you’re exposed to allergens like pollen. So start your medicines about two weeks before you expect symptoms. You can follow
pollen counts online or through your local weather forecast.
Like seasonal allergies, asthma can flare up in the spring. Common triggers include pollen, air temperature changes, yard fertilizers, and insect repellants. Don’t forget potential indoor triggers from spring cleaning, such as dust and cleaning
chemicals. Contact your doctor if you have trouble controlling your asthma symptoms or need your rescue inhaler more than twice a week.
Remember to use your peak flow meter to check your asthma control. You can buy a meter at your local pharmacy or drug store.
Many people associate getting a cold with the cold weather of winter. But fall and spring are peak times for rhinovirus infections, and rhinoviruses cause about half of all common colds. These viruses spread easily from person to person. Remember
basic prevention strategies—wash your hands often and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
As warmer temperatures lure you outdoors, know that deer ticks also appreciate the change in weather. Deer ticks—which transmit Lyme disease—become active when temperatures rise above 35 degrees Fahrenheit. Remember to avoid tall vegetation, use
tick repellant, and perform tick checks after you’ve been outdoors. If you find a tick, remove it with a pair of fine-tipped tweezers. Then watch for symptoms, such as rash or fever, over the next few weeks.
Baseball, tennis, soccer, lacrosse and golf—just to name a few—all start up again in spring. While professional athletes spend weeks in spring training, you probably don’t. So use some caution when returning to sports and activities. Try to stay
conditioned throughout the year. Give yourself extra time to warm up and cool down. Listen to your body.