Question: I have allergies, and they seem to have gotten worse since I got pregnant. My nose is runny and my eyes water like crazy…any idea why?

Answer: You might be mistaking allergies for the normal pregnancy symptom of nasal stuffiness. Or, pregnancy might have made your allergies worse. Check with your doctor to see what you can safely use to relieve any severe symptoms. Some antihistamines and other medications are safe for use during pregnancy.

The best way to handle allergies during pregnancy is through prevention. If outdoor allergens bother you, stay indoors in an air-conditioned and air-filtered environment as much as you can. Wash your hands and face once you come inside, and wear large curved sunglasses to keep pollen from your eyes. If you’re allergic to dust, you can make sure someone else does the vacuuming and sweeping. Stay away from attics and libraries full of old books, which can be musty. If you’re allergic to animals, let your friends know of the issue ahead of time so that they can rid a room of pets and their dander before you come over. If it’s your own pet that’s setting off your allergies, keep one or more areas in your home (especially your bedroom) pet-free.