1.  Slip on shades. Not only do wraparound sunglasses shield you from harmful UV rays, they'll also prevent airborne allergens from getting in your eyes. Another way to ward off symptoms: Use allergy-relieving eyedrops, such as Visine-A, a few hours before heading outside. This will combat histamines, which are the compounds that cause your eyes to water and itch.

  2.  Drink up. Fill up a water bottle or hydration pack to bring on your run, walk, or bike ride. Fluids help thin mucus and hydrate the airways, so you won't get as stuffed up. Use what's left to rinse off any pollen that's on your face and hands.

  3. Hit the laundry room more frequently. When you get back from a walk or barbecue, take off your shoes and change into a clean set of clothes. Then toss the old ones right into your hamper or laundry so you won't track allergens throughout the house. And wash your sheets once a week on the hot cycle.

    A Korean study found that washing linens in 140°F water killed nearly all dust mites, where as warm (104°F) or cold (86°F) water eliminated only 10 percent or less. For fabrics that can't tolerate hot water, you'll need three rinses to effectively remove the dust mites. And since strong scents can aggravate allergies, use a fragrance-free detergent. Pop non machine-washables—like a stuffed animal—into a Ziploc bag and leave in the freezer overnight. The lack of humidity will kill any mites.

  4. Travel wise. Remember: Your destination's allergy climate may be different than the one where you live. When you travel by car, bus or train, you may find dust mites, mold spores and pollen bothersome. Turn on the air conditioner or heater before getting in your car and travel with the windows closed to avoid allergens from outside. Travel early in the morning or late in the evening when the air quality is better. Remember, too, that air quality and dryness on planes can affect you if you have allergies.
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