Keep windows closed at home and in the car. It may feel good to catch a breeze from outside, but the pollen you're allowing to enter your home or car can make your allergy symptoms worse, says White. That's especially "if you're in a moving car, with the pollen hitting you kind of fast." Instead, use your air conditioner at home and in your car because that will filter, cool, and dry the air, says Bielory, who is an allergist in private practice in Springfield, N.J., and a fellow with the AAAAI.
Call your doctor now for an appointment if you're ou t of prescription medication refills. "It's not a good idea to wait until you're miserable and then compete with everybody else for an appointment," White says.
Bathe your pets frequently. Even if you're not allergic to your dog or cat, it is probably a good idea to bathe the animal more frequently during ragweed season because it can track pollen into the house, White says.
Shower before bed so that you're not introducing pollen from outside into your bed at night, experts suggest. That includes washing pollen from your face and hair so that it doesn't wind up on your pillow, Bielory says.
Consider allergy shots, also known as immunotherapy, which can be effective for up to 90 percent of patients who are allergic to ragweed, according to the AAAAI. A 2003 update of a Cochrane Collaboration review found that allergy immunotherapy helps to ease asthma symptoms, reduce the need for medicines, and decrease the risk of severe asthma attacks during future exposure to allergens. Allergy immunotherapy is typically covered by health insurance.
Check pollen counts in your area, and avoid being outdoors on days when counts are high. AAAAI offers an online tool that provides pollen counts in various locations across the country. (For asthmatics, there is another resource to locate air quality information.)