Six Ways to Fight Fall Seasonal Allergies
People often think spring is the toughest season for allergy sufferers, however, fall comes with its own list of allergens – including ragweed and molds. Fall allergies can also last well into November and beyond depending on the weather. And, ragweed pollen can travel hundreds of miles with the wind, so it may not even be from local plants.
You don’t have to resolve to suffering through one of the most beautiful seasons of the year. There are some simple ways you can combat the fall allergy season.
It’s about time.
One of the simplest ways to beat fall seasonal allergies is by avoiding them. Limit your exposure to pollen by staying indoors when the count is highest. This is often between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. You can also find out what days the pollen count is expected to be especially high by checking your local weather forecast.
Check allergies at the door.
Pollens are tiny and collect on clothes, shoes and you while you’re outside. Get into the habit of removing your shoes, jacket or coat and hat at the door to keep from tracking pollen into the house. It’s also a good idea to shower before getting into bed to keep allergens out of your bed. And during high allergy season, wash your sheets weekly in hot soapy, water.
Clear the air.
Even though open windows are tempting during fall days, keeping windows closed and using air conditioning in your car and home can significantly cut down on pollen. You should consider using HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters in your home – especially in your bedroom. You can also use HEPA filters on your vacuum to trap ultra-small allergens. If you’re allergic to molds, which are also high in the fall, dehumidifiers throughout your home help keep it dry.
Hit the allergy aisle.
Arm yourself against allergies with a trip to your local grocery or drug store. There are several nonprescription medications designed specifically to treat allergy symptoms. For example, antihistamines help with sneezing, itching and a runny nose and decongestants can help relieve nasal stuffiness. Another great option is a nasal steroid spray which can reduce swelling and mucus in the nasal passageway. You may have to try a couple of brands to find what works best for you. Talking to a pharmacist can help you decide which over-the-counter medications can help relieve your specific symptoms.
Know your triggers.
With all the sniffling, sneezing, watery eyes, coughing, etc., the fact that you have fall seasonal allergies are hard to miss. But, do you know what actually causes your symptoms? Knowing what your triggers are makes it much easier to both avoid them and to treat your specific symptoms.
See a doctor.
The best way to find out exactly what you’re allergic to and how to treat it is by seeing your family medicine doctor or child’s pediatrician. These professionals are trained to diagnose, treat and manage allergies. A board-certified ENT physician will look at the whole picture, including family history, environment, your overall health and symptoms to reach a diagnosis and an individualized treatment plan designed to help treat your symptoms so you can enjoy all the natural beauty of autumn.