An allergy is the immune system’s reaction when exposed to what is otherwise a harmless substance. It can be anything from plant pollen to mold, to almonds or milk.

With allergy season in full swing, are you prepared to fight the good fight? Follow these twelve steps and breathe easier this spring.

1. Stay away from the line.

Avoid line drying of clothing, particularly bed linens, on a high pollen day outdoors.

2. Wash wisely.

Shampoo and shower nightly to rinse the pollens from your skin and hair. Change your clothing before entering your bedroom to reduce pollens from being brought into your bedroom.

3. Avoid cross-reactions.

As many as one in three seasonal allergy sufferers may experience oral allergy syndrome after ingesting foods—fresh fruits such as apple, pear, carrot, celery, peach, cherry, as well as almond and hazelnut—if you have seasonal tree pollen allergies due to a cross-reaction between the proteins in these fruits and the pollens.

4. Beat the clock.

Consider staying indoors on very high pollen days (especially if you are sensitive to seasonal pollens present in the air.) Seasonal pollen levels are lowest on windless, wet and cloudy days.

5. Start early with allergy treatment.

Many medications will work better (nasal antihistamines/steroids, oral antihistamines and eye drops) if you start them even before symptoms begin in many cases.

6. Shoot away.

Allergy injections and/or sublingual allergy treatment are the only non-medication therapy designed to reduce symptoms and provide excellent long-term relief.

7. Wear a hat.

Preferably a wide-brimmed one.

8. Clean the air.

At home or when driving, keep windows closed and set air conditioner on re-circulate to keep out the pollens. Clean filters in room air conditioners frequently during the pollen season to get best efficiency.

9. Go green.

A NASA study identifies houseplants that actually scrub and clean indoor air from pollutants. They include English Ivy, Bamboo palm, rubber and snake plants.

10. Confirm your seasonal allergies.

Simple in office allergy tests can pinpoint your problem.

11. Channel your inner-celebrity.

Wear oversized sunglasses to block airborne pollens and molds from entering your eyes and lids that will cause redness, red and water eyes.

12. Know your pollen count.

Pollen levels are highest on windy, dry and sunny days. Check your local weather reports to identify high allergy days.