Winterize your body against allergies

If you're suffering from allergies, the "most wonderful time of the year" could also turn into a season of sniffling.

While spring is known for the pollen boom, we're also surrounded by potential triggers right now.

If you live in a milder climate, the leaves are still piling up. If you're in a cooler place, you might have a big pile of them decaying behind your house. If you're up North, where it's already snowing in some places, you can end up with a damp and moldy basement or attic.

All of them can lead to allergy attacks.

Even your Christmas tree can be coated in allergens!

A new report from the University of Alabama says that one of the most common triggers of allergies this time of year is in what nature is doing all around us, especially if you're doing work around your yard to get ready for winter.

All of that back-breaking leaf-raking can do more than leave you aching and sore -- it can leave you sniffling, sneezing, and, in some cases, gasping for air.

The team at Alabama says you should know your triggers and prepare.

Well, no kidding.

But how, exactly, do you know what's lurking in that mess of a yard out there?

You're best off preparing for anything -- so, if you're prone to allergies, treat that leaf pile like a pollen bomb. If you're going to clean it up yourself, wear a mask.

Once inside, toss your clothes in the laundry right away, or those pollens and mold spores will settle all around your home.

Don't sit down yet. You're not done.

It's time to inspect the attic and basement for leaks and signs of mold, which can trigger constant cold-like misery all winter long.

OK, phew, that was a lot of work, right? But it's not break time yet.

We've got one more job here, and that's your Christmas tree.

Some folks are allergic to the tree itself -- and if you're one of them, you probably know it all too well.

But that's not the only risk. That's not even the biggest risk.

The tree can pick up dust, mold, and pollen from anywhere along the way on its journey from the forest to the lot to your living room.

Some lots will blow them off or hose them down for you. If they don't, do it yourself out back and give it a day or two to dry off before you bring it in.

You might not be able to eliminate every possible trigger. But with a day or two of work around your home and some careful planning, you can certainly minimize them -- so you can breathe easy this holiday season.