Pollen counts in the D.C. area are low. Yet, many people are still experiencing uncomfortable allergy symptoms such as sneezing and itchy eyes.

Dr. Rachel Schreiber, allergist at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center, spoke to WTOP Radio (103.5 FM) this morning about the situation.

These could be “perennial allergies, which are triggered by things that are present year-round,” she says.

For example, dust mites could be a culprit. You can find dust mites throughout your house, including in mattresses, carpeting and air conditioning units and vents. Dust mites especially enjoy humidity. While typically harmless, they can cause bothersome symptoms for those who are allergic.

Dr. Schreiber says the following can help:

  • Clean your air filters.
  • Run the air conditioning.
  • Cover mattress and pillows in physical encasements.
  • Take over-the-counter allergy medication such as Claritin or Zyrtec.

She also notes that people who are allergic to one thing are more likely to be allergic to another. Everyone is different and you should speak with your doctor about your symptoms and the best course of treatment.