SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The sneezing, the sniffling, the watery eyes: It’s that time of year when the pollen is flying and allergies are in high gear.

“We are smacking prime allergy time right now,” says Dr. E.J. Mayeaux, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Clinical Affairs at LSU Health Shreveport.

However, there are a few ways to ease the discomfort:

  • Take a shower or a bath to get rid of the pollen on your body that you carry with you
  • Change your air conditioning filters
  • Rub down your pets with a damp towel as soon as they enter your home from outside to remove all the pollen

There are also medications that are available both by prescriptions and over-the-counter that can help. These include antihistamines, which can be taken orally. But Mayoux cautions some medications could also make you become too dependent.

“Just educate yourself and be smart about it.”

Wearing an N-95 mask – the same ones used to reduce COVID-19 – can also help filter the amount of pollen we inhale.

If you’re wondering how long pollen can travel through the air, well, it all depends on the weather. Stong windy conditions tend to increase the pollen counts in the air as they are coming off plants, while the rain tends to decrease it.

“How windy it is, the air masses that are moving through the system, the amount of humidity in the air, and the amount of the precipitation all influence how long any particular amount of pollens stay in the air.”