Allergy season has arrived in Boulder.
Allergy season has arrived in Boulder.

BOULDER, Colo. –

Allergy season has begun.

Keep grumbling, because the allergens aren’t going anywhere.

Sarah Ewell, a nurse at Boulder Valley Asthma and Allergy Clinic, said allergy season will continue until the first fall frost.

“Unfortunately in Boulder, we have back-to-back allergy seasons,” Ewell said Monday. “Right now, the trees are pollinating.”

The best way to minimize symptoms is avoidance or minimal exposure, said Dr. Charles Kirkpatrick, professor of medicine at the University of Colorado in Denver.

But for busy students, Kirkpatrick said that could be difficult.

“In the life of a student, exposure is unavoidable — you have to go outdoors to go to class,” Kirkpatrick said. “Classes don’t come to you.”

Kirkpatrick and Ewell offered tips to minimize symptoms:

1. Keep windows closed

For this time of the year, Ewell said it is very important to keep the pollen out of the house.

“The tree pollen gets into the house through the windows, you drag it in,” Ewell said. “It’s still active. It can collect on your floor or in the dust on your kitchen counter.”

2. Keep your home clean

It is important to keep your bedroom clean, where much of a resident’s time is spent sleeping, Kirkpatrick said.

Ewell said to frequently change bedding and shower before bed, as pollens collect in the hair.

Although vacuuming and dusting is important, Kirkpatrick said a rotating brush vacuum can increase allergens in the air.

3. Use air filters

Kirkpatrick said an air filtration system with a HEPA filter — a high-efficiency system that removes tiny particles — can be helpful.

They can be pricey, he said, but if a student suffers from all-season allergies, it may be a sound investment.

4. Medicate yourself

Many severe allergy sufferers get tested and immunized, but many students who suffer from minor symptoms can medicate with over-the-counter medicines, Kirkpatrick said.

“Most students will already know what they are sensitive to,” Kirkpatrick said. “They may not know how to avoid it, but they do know there are certain things they can’t be around.”

5. Keep pets out of bed

For those with animal allergies, Kirkpatrick said curling up with a pet in bed just maximizes exposure to the animal’s dander.

Even if the allergy sufferer is not allergic to pets, the animals will track in pollens and allergens from outside, Ewell noted.