Treat allergy symptoms so you can enjoy the warmer months

Allergy season has arrived and trees, flowers and plants are shedding pollen everywhere. It's likely someone in your family suffers from an allergy, and has the sneezing, runny nose, cough or sore throat that go with springtime allergies.

Treating allergy symptoms to feel better doesn't have to take a lot of work. Here are some tips to keeping your family allergy-symptom-free, and feeling and looking good.

* Get good rest. Sleep is important when your body is fighting off irritants, and if you've spent the entire day sneezing or coughing, your body can be tired from those stresses. If you struggle to shut your brain off at night so you can fall asleep quickly, consider taking a warm bath or shower, reading a book and listening to calming music that won't get stuck in your head. A good night's sleep will help prevent dark under-eye circles that often plague people with allergies.

* Rid your house of pollen. There's a good chance you're just as allergic to your house as you are to the trees and flowers outside. That's because pollen collects in carpeting, fabrics and your air ducts. If you have carpeting, clean the floors using a HEPA-filter vacuum on a frequent basis. You might also consider investing in dust mite-proof bedding. Another pollen-hiding place is your air ducts, and the National Air Duct Cleaners Association recommends checking your ducts with a flashlight or camera to determine if dust is coating the walls of your ducts. If so, it's time to get them cleaned.

* Soothe your allergy symptoms. If you're reacting to the higher pollen levels with a cough and sore throat, supplement your prescription or over-the-counter medications with HALLS, which starts working within 10 seconds to soothe allergy-related coughs and sore throats. In addition to cough drops, stock up on tissues, soap, hand sanitizer and lotion so you can target all those symptoms that have you feeling ill. Keep these items handy - at home and while you're out to help prevent your allergies from dragging you down physically.

* Stay inside. When the pollen count reports are high, consider staying inside on those days so you don't immerse yourself in allergens. Also keep the windows of your house closed to prevent the wind from carrying pollens inside.

* Zap the allergens in the air. Even with good cleaning and keeping your windows closed, pollens and other allergens can still get into your home. Adding an air filtration system to your air conditioner or as a stand alone unit can help keep the air you breathe free of pollens. If you have a stand alone unit, place it in the bedroom of your family member suffering from allergies.

Allergies can be a drag, but they can be less annoying when you successfully treat the symptoms. With these tips, get out and enjoy the warmer weather, and if you add a smile on your face, no one will be the wiser.