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Marcia Mangum Cronin

HealthyWomen's Copy Editor

Marcia Cronin has worked with HealthyWomen for over 15 years in various editorial capacities. She brings a strong background in copy editing. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor's degree in journalism and worked for over two decades in newspapers, including at The Los Angeles Times and The Virginian-Pilot.

After leaving newspapers, Marcia began working as a freelance writer and editor, specializing in health and medical news. She has copy edited books for Rodale, Reader's Digest, Andrews McMeel Publishing and the Academy of Nutritionists and Dietitians.

Marcia and her husband have two grown daughters and share a love of all things food- and travel-related.

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6 Ways to Avoid Seasonal Allergies

If you live in a climate anything at all like where I live in coastal Virginia, then the pollens are about to attack your nasal passages with a vengeance—if they haven't already. And for those of us who suffer from seasonal allergies, it can take all the fun out of spring.

Changes in temperature and increasing humidity can cause high pollen and mold counts, with can aggravate allergies and asthma.

I am allergic to so many things that my allergies eventually led to asthma, and I get allergy shots (immunotherapy), which make my life much pleasanter and my sneezing attacks much milder—in the spring and year-round.

If your allergies get out of control in spring, you may want to try these tips from the experts at National Jewish Health, the leading respiratory hospital in the nation. They may not prevent your allergic reactions entirely, but they can ease your symptoms and help you enjoy spring:

  • Avoid the wind. If possible, stay inside on windy days. If you must be outside, cover your mouth with a scarf or an allergen mask.
  • Cool wisely. Do not use window or attic fans, and keep your windows closed when pollen counts are high. Turn on the air conditioner instead.
  • Clean up. Change clothes and wash or shower away pollen after you've been outside. It's especially important to wash before getting in bed.
  • Know your triggers. Trees, weeds, grasses and molds peak at different times. You may want to see a specialist to find out what you're allergic to, so you can better avoid your allergens.
  • Check pollen counts. Limit pollen exposure by keeping windows closed and staying inside when pollen counts are high. Generally, pollen counts are higher in the afternoon and evening, so if you need to work in the yard, head out early in the morning. The Weather Channel provides helpful allergy maps, and if you click on the Allergy Tracker near the bottom of the page, you can info for your zip code.
  • Take meds as recommended. Consistently take the medicines and treatments recommended by your health care provider. Take antihistamines at night, because their effectiveness peaks in the morning. Nasal washes are a natural alternative.

Read More:
Coping with Seasonal Allergies

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