The primary causes of fall allergies are ragweed and mold. Fall allergy sufferers are all too familiar with the symptoms of fall allergies, such as watery eyes, asthma, and dry, itchy skin. While not life-threatening, allergy symptoms often make life pretty miserable. The following tips will help you minimize your symptoms to make the most of the beautiful autumn season.
Avoid going outdoors on days with a high pollen count or strong winds
When the pollen count is high or it’s really windy, avoid going outdoors, particularly between 5:00 and 10:00 a.m. when pollen counts tend to be the highest. Your local weather forecast should include a current pollen count.
Clean the heating vents and change the furnace filter
Before you run the heater for the first time, clean out the heating vents and change the furnace filter to minimize the amount of dust and other particles that enter the air. Change your furnace filters every three months. HEPA filters offer the greatest level of protection against allergens. When you change the filter, place the used filter in a plastic garbage bag. Take the entire garbage bag to your outdoor can immediately to limit the amount of pollen that escapes from the bag and remains indoors.
Use a dehumidifier
As the weather grows colder, many people start running their humidifiers to help with their breathing. If you’re sensitive to dust or mold, a dehumidifier is preferable for decreasing indoor allergy symptoms, particularly in a more humid climate.
Avoid hanging clothes outdoors to dry
Air-dried laundry smells wonderful, but it isn’t worth the price when you’re at the height of fall allergy season. Hanging clothes, bedding, and towels out to dry ensures the pollen will end up right back on your skin.
Wear a mask when you’ll be outdoors for long periods of time
The longer you stay outdoors, the more likely it is you’ll breathe in ragweed pollen and mold spores, particularly while completing yard work. If you don’t want to wear a mask all the time outdoors, reserve wear for yard work, especially mowing grass, gardening, and raking leaves.
After you’ve been outside, take off your shoes and change your clothes to minimize the amount of pollen and other fall allergens you bring into your home. Whenever possible, further reduce allergen exposure by taking a shower shortly afterward to cleanse your skin and hair of allergens.
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If you continue to experience fall allergy symptoms, consult with your physician. He may be able to prescribe stronger allergy medication than you can purchase over the counter or offer further advice for allergy relief. If you’ve never been tested for allergies, he may also recommend skin allergy testing to pinpoint your specific fall allergies so you can treat them accordingly.