Consider bonus benefits of wearing face masks

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Experts in the field of allergies are reporting that fewer patients this spring are suffering from sneezing, watery eyes and runny nose.

Looking further into this, doctors are concluding that patients with what we call hayfever aren’t being exposed to pollen because they’re wearing facemasks across their nose and mouth.

According to the Mayo Clinic, reducing your exposure to allergens can help prevent the misery of your usual springtime symptoms.

Using a facemask to tamp down allergies will work best if you change to a clean mask daily. Cloth masks become pollen (and germ) free in a warm wash cycle. Another option is using a fresh disposable mask every day.

Other tips for pollen sufferers:

  • Start taking your prescribed or over-the-counter allergy medication.
  • Check weather reports for pollen levels, and stay inside air-conditioned buildings as needed, especially on dry, windy days.
  • Note that after a good rain there is the least amount of pollen in the air.
  • Have others mow and weed the yard. (Grass that has gone to seed produces pollen, too).
  • Use a clothes dryer instead of hanging laundry outside, where your clothes and bedsheets can get covered with pollen.
  • Wear a mask!

Ann Cochran in the health navigation coordinator in the Dallas County Public Health Department.

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