Allergies and asthma

What to know to fight back and get some relief

At certain times of year, the air is alive with pollen and mold spores, which can lead to stuffiness, sneezing, and itchy, watery eyes. And all those airborne allergens can make asthma symptoms worse too.

Controlling both conditions may help you feel better — and have fewer asthma flare-ups. Here are a few timely tips and facts to know.

Play keep-away from allergens

  • Watch the weather. Dry, warm and windy days tend to be high-pollen times. When possible, save outdoor activities for cool, damp days.
  • Stay in to work out. Exercise indoors to avoid pollen and outdoor molds. 
  • Get help with yardwork. If you must work outdoors, wear a mask to help keep pollens out of your nose and mouth.
  • Shut your home and car windows. Use air-conditioning, if possible.
  • Hit the showers after being outdoors. You’ll help wash allergens away.

Talk with your doctor

Take action. It’s important to create an asthma action plan with your doctor. Ask whether your plan should be adjusted for allergy season.

Mind your medicines

  • Asthma. If you use a daily controller medication, take it as directed. Keep your rescue inhaler handy to treat any flare-ups.  
  • Allergies. Over-the-counter or other allergy treatments may ease or prevent bothersome symptoms. Talk with your doctor about what may be best for you.1

Know common triggers

Pollen by the season — here are the biggest culprits for each time of year:

  • Spring: trees 
  • Late spring/summer: grasses
  • Summer/fall: weeds, other late-blooming plants

Outdoor mold spores tend to increase with rising temperatures and float in the air like pollen. In warm climates, pollen and mold can be a year-round problem.

Besides allergens, other things might bother your lungs — and make asthma worse — including smoggy, smoky or cold air. Get air-quality forecasts


  1. Check your benefit plan to see what services may be covered.