While many will soon be off to farmer’s markets buying bushels of harvest apples, pumpkins, and corn, others will be rushing to the nearest drug store for over-the-counter allergy medications and boxes of tissues.
Fall can be the worst time of year for people with seasonal allergies. Along with dropping temperatures and changing vegetation, weeds and other plants release pollen into the air and outdoor molds grow under fallen leaves, triggering allergy symptoms for nearly 40 million Americans.
7 Simple Tips for Fall Allergy Relief
With the colder season drawing near, we tend to spend more time indoors with the windows closed, exposing ourselves to more indoor allergens as well.
Whether your fall allergy symptoms are mild or miserable, there are solutions to help you breathe easier and get back to enjoying life- both inside and outside.
1. Stay indoors with the doors and windows closed when pollen is at its peak. (Usually in the late morning or midday). Check pollen counts in your area. Your local weather report will usually include them.
2. Avoid hanging clothes outdoors. Laundry is a magnet for pollen that will eventually end up indoors and on your skin, via clothing, furniture, and bedding.
3. Buy hypoallergenic filters. Air pollution isn’t just car exhaust or factory smoke. Dust mites, mold spores, pollen, and pet dander in the air inside your home can cause problems if your family has allergies or asthma. Using HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters can trap these pollutants and may help bring allergy relief. Before turning on your heat for the first time, clean your heating vents and change filters.
4. Have antihistamines on hand. Help to reduce or block histamines, so they stop allergy symptoms.These medicines work well to relieve symptoms of different types of allergies, including seasonal (hay fever), indoor, and food allergies. But they can't relieve every symptom. To treat nasal congestion, your doctor may recommend a decongestant. Some medicines combine an antihistamine and decongestant.
5. Wear a mask. If taking walks outdoors when pollen levels are high, during autumn gardening, or when raking leaves to avoid breathing in mold spores.
6. Allergy-proof your bed. Place your mattress, box springs and pillows in airtight plastic or allergen-proof fabric covers.
7. Use a dehumidifier. This will help stop mold growth and eliminate dust mites. Damp, humid air in your home creates the ideal environment for mold to grow and thrive. If you suffer from allergies or asthma, mold can trigger the same symptoms as outdoor pollen. Using a dehumidifier stops mold growth by reducing the moisture content of your air and keeping your home’s overall humidity under control. To eliminate and prevent mold indoors, use your dehumidifier to maintain a humidity level between 45 and 50%.