Spring has sprung again and while the warmer weather is definitely a welcome change, the return of itchy eyes and a constantly dripping nose may not be.

It’s estimated that about 25 per cent of Canadians are affected by seasonal allergies.

This spring, try to avoid the discomfort by getting to the bottom of what is causing your allergies before they start. Here are five tips to help you get ahead of your symptoms:

  1. Check the pollen forecast: Be on top of this as it can change daily and really affect your symptoms. If you’re planning on exercising, go to the gym or exercise inside on warm, windy days.
  2. When you are outside, protect yourself: Wear sunglasses or a hat – not only do they look good and block the sun, they also help keep pollen off your body and out of your eyes.
  3. Cover up when being active outside: If you are doing outdoor activities like cutting the lawn or gardening, consider wearing a mask or scarf to cover your nose and mouth.
  4. Protect yourself from pollen: We carry a lot of pollen into the home with us. Wash your bedding more frequently during spring, summer and fall; keep your windows closed and remember your pets can track pollen into the house, too.
  5. Find the right product: Speaking to your local Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacist can be your first line of defense. They can help assess your symptoms and recommend an over-the-counter medication or product. If this isn’t enough to kick your symptoms, your pharmacist can write you a prescription for a medication in all provinces excluding British Columbia and Ontario. If your symptoms are more severe, pharmacists in B.C. and Ontario can work with your doctor to make sure you have the right treatment option for you.