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March 9, 2022

Preparing for Spring Allergies

ThedaCare Physician Offers Tips for Coping with Allergy Season 

After a long, cold Wisconsin winter, nothing feels better than warmer weather. The first signs of spring can be an exciting time to make plans to enjoy the outdoors. Unfortunately, if you’re one of the millions of people who suffer from seasonal allergies, the sneezing, runny nose, and itchy, watery eyes, among many other symptoms, might take away some of the enjoyment of changing seasons.   

“After a long winter we really look forward to those warmer days, more sun and seeing green grass instead of snow.” said Dr. Bentley Thomason, a Family Medicine Physician at ThedaCare Physicians-Shawano. “But when someone has allergies, the sunshine can come with a cost. If people prepare and have a plan to manage allergies, most of us can still enjoy the season.” 

In the spring, plants begin to bloom and they produce pollen. Pollen can cause allergy symptoms to flare if you’re allergic to this type of pollen. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 20 million American adults and more than six million children experience seasonal allergic rhinitis, commonly known as seasonal allergies or hay fever. If you’re allergic to pollen, your immune system will react and can cause these varying, but common symptoms: 

  • Sneezing 
  • Runny nose 
  • Congestion 
  • Watery eyes 
  • Itchiness in nose, eyes and or mouth 

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, allergies tend to run in families, so genetics can play a role in whether you have spring allergies or not. The environment you grow up in matters as well. Plants that produce higher amounts of pollen that can be a contributing factor.  

For many people, avoiding allergens and taking over-the-counter medications, such as an antihistamine, is enough to ease the symptoms. Dr. Thomason noted that nasal treatments, such as saline and intranasal steroids, have been shown to work quite well. If your seasonal allergies are still bothersome, there are some other treatments to discuss with your doctor or provider. Dr. Thomason also explained that when beginning treatment for allergies, a conversation with your primary care provider to talk about more specific treatment options that can be helpful.  

There are also suggestions about ways to help limit your exposure to allergy causes:  

  • Keep windows closed. 
  • Use central air conditioning and change the filter often. 
  • Remove your shoes before entering your home. 
  • Take a shower and shampoo your hair before bed. 
  • Change and wash your clothes after being outdoors. 
  • Dry laundry in a clothes dryer or on an indoor rack, not on an outdoor line. 
  • Clean pollen off pets with a towel before they come into your home. 
  • Wash bedding in hot, soapy water once a week. 
  • Use a nasal rinse to flush out inhaled pollen out of your nose. 

“Even implementing some of these tips can be helpful in controlling the amount of pollen that gets into your home,” explained Dr. Thomason. “Another recommendation I have would be to know the pollen count numbers, and use that to decide which days to spend more time outside. With a bit of planning, we can minimize our allergies and enjoy all of the wonderful things springtime in Wisconsin can offer.”  

About ThedaCare 

For more than 110 years, ThedaCare® has been committed to improving the health of the communities it serves in northeast and central Wisconsin. The organization delivers care to more than 600,000 residents in 17 counties and employs approximately 7,000 health care professionals. ThedaCare has 180 points of care, including seven hospitals. As an organization committed to being a leader in Population Health, team members are dedicated to empowering people to live their best lives through easy access to individualized care, supporting each person’s own health and wellbeing. ThedaCare also partners with communities to understand unique needs, finding solutions together, and encouraging health awareness and action. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care 

Network Member, giving specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a not-for-profit health system with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs, as well as primary care. 

For more information, visit or follow ThedaCare on social media. Members of the media should call Cassandra Wallace, Public and Media Relations Consultant at 920.442.0328 or the ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah switchboard at 920.729.3100 and ask for the marketing person on call.