How to Fight Fall Allergies
Find out how to overcome pesky fall allergies with tips from the bistroMD wellness team.
If the sniffles and the coughing are taking your body hostage, there are some ways you can cope and still enjoy the fall season. With a few simple remedies and adjustments, here are some tips on how you can fight fall allergies.
The Typical Symptoms of Fall Allergies
Like most allergies, the typical symptoms for fall allergies include: runny nose, sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, and, sometimes, headaches.
Often these symptoms can make you very ill, and can make life difficult. Most of the time, they interfere with your daily activities, making it impossible to get simple tasks done.
What are the Causes?
People seem to think that just because the air is a little more crisp and clean during the fall months, that their allergies won’t be as severe. Sometimes, though, this isn’t the case.
Ragweed is probably the biggest allergy trigger during the fall. Even though ragweed begins pollinating in August, it can stick around well into the fall season. Chances are, if you are allergic to pollen, you are more than likely allergic to ragweed. Ragweed also travels effectively in the wind, so it doesn’t even matter where you live. If you are allergic, you will likely experience the symptoms.
Mold can also be to blame for your sniffles and cough. Mold thrives best in damp areas, both indoors and out. Those piles of fallen leaves in your yard make great breeding grounds for mold.
How to Treat the Symptoms
Purchase a dehumidifier.This helps prevent mold from forming. Dehumidifiers decrease humidity in your house, and usually keep the relative humidity in your home at 50%.
Wear a facemask when doing yard work. When raking up those leaves, wear a face mask and goggles if you are allergic to either pollen or ragweed. If you don’t want to wear goggles or a face mask, ask a neighbor or a friend who isn’t allergic to do the yard work for you.
Keep your windows shut. Even though the perfect weather is an invitation to open your windows, don’t do it if ragweed pollen levels are high. It may be hard, but keep the windows shut and the air conditioner running.
Take antihistamines. If you want to reduce sneezing, sniffling, and itching, block the histamine (the substance produced during an allergic reaction) in your body. If you also suffer from swelling and congestion, you may also want to take a decongestant as well. If taken during the day, make sure you purchase a non-drowsy formula.
Allergy shots. As a treatment, allergy shots gradually increase doses of the allergen into your system until you become tolerant. This is more of a long-term solution, as you can usually get away from using temporary oral and nasal allergy medications.
If you are considering allergy shots, it’s important that you consult with your physician first.
Clean your ducts before you turn up the heat. As it starts to get colder, you may need to turn on your heat. Before you do, make sure you have your ducts clean thoroughly in order to avoid severe allergies. Allergens can build up in your ducts during the summer, which is why you should have them cleaned before you turn on the heat for the first time.