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," says William S. Silvers, M.D., a clinical professor of allergy and immunology at the University of Colorado in Denver. Then use the rest to rinse off any pollen that’s on your face and hands.

AT THE DOCTOR'S OFFICE

ID your triggers

"If you know what they are, you’ll know how to defend yourself against them," says Smart. Request a skin-prick test, in which an allergist applies a man-made version of the potential allergen to your forearm and makes a small prick in the skin so the solution can enter. If you're allergic, a lump resembling a mosquito bite will appear at the site.

Give your medication a checkup

While some may find relief with an over-the-counter medicine, such as Claritin, Alavert, or Zyrtec-D, others may prefer a stronger one-a-day prescription tablet, such as Singulair. Ask your doctor for her recommendations, but don’t mix your meds: Following a non-drowsy 24-hour drug with a different p.m. pill that night could lead to dizziness, increased heartbeat, and nausea. "But what's most important is that you take allergy medications as regularly as suggested by a doctor to ward off attacks, rather than when you’re just experiencing symptoms," says Casale.

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