While it's always a good time to schedule an appointment with your doctor for a checkup, a particularly good day may be Doctor's Day, especially if you have allergies.

Doctors' Day began on March 30, 1933, and was celebrated by sending cards to physicians. This year, a good way to celebrate maybe by making an appointment with your physician or allergist before your seasonal allergies get the best of you-especially if over-the-counter medications don't control your symptoms or your allergies interfere with your day-to-day activities.

The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology recommends you see an allergist-a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of asthma and other allergic diseases-if you experience:

  • seasonal allergies;
  • chronic sinus infections;
  • nasal congestion;
  • or difficulty breathing.

A visit to the allergist might include allergy testing, medication or prevention education. This may include a recommendation to place an air cleaner in your house to reduce airborne allergens such as tobacco smoke, dust and pollen-all pollutants that aggravate allergies and asthma symptoms.

If you get an air cleaner, look for one that's been independently tested. The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) administers the Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) certification program for room air cleaners. This verifies manufacturers' performance claims for reducing airborne pollutants. Such cleaners can remove dust and pollen particles tinier than a micron-that is, smaller than the period at the end of this sentence-and tobacco smoke particles down to a tenth of a micron.

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