As the leaves change colors and fall to the ground, it’s a beautiful reminder that autumn is here. But along with pumpkin spice lattes and cozy sweaters, this season also brings an increase in allergy symptoms for many people. If you’re one of those who suffer from seasonal allergies, don’t despair! There are steps you can take to minimize your symptoms and enjoy this wonderful time of year. Read on for our expert tips on how to have a sniffle-free autumn.
Understanding Seasonal Allergies
Before we dive into the tips, it’s helpful to understand what exactly causes seasonal allergies. During the fall season, ragweed is one of the main culprits behind sneezing, watery eyes, and runny noses. Ragweed releases pollen into the air, which can travel for miles and trigger allergic reactions in individuals who are sensitive to it. In addition to ragweed, mold spores can also be found in abundance during this time of year due to fallen leaves and damp weather conditions. These spores can also cause allergy symptoms like congestion and coughing. Now that you know what’s causing your allergies, let’s move on to the tips for managing them.
Tip #1: Keep Your Home Clean
As much as we love the cozy feeling of fall, it’s essential to keep our homes clean and free from allergens. Keep the windows closed to keep ragweed pollen from blowing indoors and make sure to vacuum and dust regularly, especially if you have pets who spend a lot of time outdoors. They can carry outdoor pollens on their coats and transfer them inside onto couches and carpets. When cleaning, pay particular attention to areas where allergens can settle, such as carpets, curtains, and furniture. Using a HEPA filter in your vacuum cleaner can also help trap small particles like pollen and mold spores. It’s also a good idea to wash bedding frequently in hot water to get rid of any lingering allergens. Additionally, consider investing in an air purifier to help keep the air inside your home clean and free from allergens.
Tip #2: Monitor Pollen Counts
Pollen counts tend to be higher on warm, dry, and windy days. Before you head out for the day, check the local pollen count and plan accordingly. If it’s particularly high that day, try to limit your time spent outdoors or take allergy medication beforehand. It’s also a good idea to keep windows closed to prevent pollen from entering your home. On days when the pollen count is low, take advantage of the opportunity to open your windows and let in some fresh air.
Tip #3: Consider Allergy Medication
If you’re someone who suffers from severe seasonal allergies, over-the-counter allergy medication may not be enough. Consult with your doctor about prescription options that can provide more relief for your specific symptoms. Antihistamines, nasal sprays, and eye drops are all common forms of medication used to manage allergies. It’s important to start taking these medications before your symptoms become too severe. Remember, prevention is key when it comes to allergies. For refractory symptoms allergy shots and sublingual immunotherapy can also help those suffering from severe ragweed allergies.
Tip #4: Dress Appropriately
While the crisp autumn air may feel refreshing, it can also be a trigger for allergy symptoms. When heading outside, make sure to dress appropriately by covering your mouth and nose with a scarf or mask. This can help prevent allergens from entering your respiratory system. Wearing sunglasses can also help protect your eyes from pollen and other irritants. Don’t forget to shower and change your clothes after spending time outdoors to get rid of any allergens that may have accumulated on your body.
With proper precautions and management strategies, you can minimize your allergy symptoms and fully enjoy all that autumn has to offer. Keep your home clean, monitor pollen counts, consider medication and/or immunotherapy, and dress appropriately to keep those sniffles at bay. Don’t let seasonal allergies hold you back from enjoying the autumn season! Contact Bernstein Allergy Group today to schedule an allergy test and discuss treatment options. Take control of your allergies and experience a sniffle-free autumn.