Skip Navigation
Michigan Department of Community HealthMichigan.gov, Official Website for the State of Michigan
Michigan.gov Home
close print view

Spring Allergies: Tips for Coping This Season

Contact: Angela Minicuci (517) 241-2112

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 30, 2012

LANSING - For Michigan residents who feel like they've had more allergies than usual since February, they may be right. This year was the fourth warmest winter on record for many parts of the U.S. The warm temperatures and lack of wintry precipitation have triggered an early release of pollen from trees leading to an early crop of allergies.

Tree pollen is the main driver for spring allergies. As the trees have started to bloom and pollen gets in to the air, allergy sufferers have begun their annual ritual of sniffling, sneezing, and running for the tissue box.

Approximately 50 million Americans have some form of allergy, a statistic that has been increasing since the 1980s. Today, allergies are the third most common chronic disease among children and adolescents, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

Further, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, half of the 20 million Americans with asthma have allergic asthma. Allergic asthma is a type of asthma that is triggered by an allergy. For those with allergic asthma, breathing pollen can cause coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath, leading to stepping up or starting medications to help get these symptoms under control.

Climate scientists are looking at how environmental factors such as temperature, length of the pollen season, and air pollution affect allergies and asthma. As the warm seasons get longer and hotter, allergy sufferers are exposed to pollen for a longer period of time and in larger amounts.

The most powerful tool allergy sufferers have against potential climate change affects is taking preventive measures to minimize symptoms. The Michigan Department of Community Health has some tips for coping with spring allergies:

  1. Take allergy medications as prescribed by your physician. 
  2. Keep the windows in your home closed, which prevents pollens from drifting in.
  3. Minimize morning activity when pollen levels are at their highest, between 5 and 10 a.m.
  4. Keep your car windows closed when driving.
  5. Stay indoors when the pollen count is reported to be high, and on windy days when pollen may be present in higher amounts in the air.
  6. Use a clothes dryer to machine dry bedding and clothing, instead of hanging clothes on a clothesline, which can cause laundry to become coated with pollen.

Severe allergic reactions and asthma attacks can be life-threatening. Work with your doctor ahead of time to determine what to do when your signs and symptoms worsen - and when you need emergency treatment. If your quick-relief medications do not relieve symptoms of a severe allergy or asthma attack, seek emergency help right away.

# # #

Related Content
 •  MDCH Launches Website to Address Prescription Drug Misuse and Abuse
 •  MDCH Urges Residents to Protect Against Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
 •  MDCH, MOA, and MSMS Urge Residents to Vaccinate Against Influenza;State Confirms First Influenza Cases of 2014 – 2015 Flu Season
 •  MDCH, YMCAs Partner to Promote Healthy Programs for Michigan Kids
 •  Michigan Receives Million Hearts® Funding to Fight Heart Disease and Stroke
 •  New Breast Cancer Awareness License Plates Support Screening, Early Detection
 •  Michigan Proclaims October Disability Employment Awareness Month
 •  MDCH Finalizes Two Public Health Assessments for the Torch Lake Superfund Site in the Keweenaw Peninsula
 •  Michigan Features Michigan Residents in New Video about Mental Health, Substance Use Disorder Recovery
 •  MDCH Awards Active Living Grants to Encourage Healthy Communities
 •  Michigan Recognizes Familial Hypercholesterolemia Awareness Day, Encourages Cholesterol Screening
 •  Michigan Adults Encouraged to Protect Themselves and Loved Ones from Falls
 •  Three Cases of Enterovirus D68 Confirmed in Michigan
 •  Michigan Raising Awareness of Sickle Cell Disease, Sickle Cell Trait
 •  MDCH Schedules Sixth Public Input Forum on Integrated Care Demonstration
 •  Michigan Monitoring for Cases of Enterovirus
 •  Michigan 4 x 4 Plan Features Residents, Organizations Success Stories on New Blog
 •  MDCH Kicks Off New Flu Vaccination Challenge for College-Age Adults
 •  Residents Encouraged to Replace Potassium Iodide (KI) Stockpile, Expires in October
 •  Michigan 4 x 4 Plan Features Residents, Organizations Success Stories on New Blog
QR code

Michigan.gov Home
PoliciesMichigan NewsMichigan.gov Survey

Copyright © 2014 State of Michigan