Fall Allergies: What causes them and how to ease them
Fall is in full swing. The leaves are turning and falling. Nature is preparing for winter. Allergies can still linger. The itchy eyes, runny nose, and sneezing continue. Here are some helpful tips and reasons allergies can maintain in the fall.
What causes allergies?
If you’re experiencing strong allergies in the fall, it is likely a Ragweed allergy. Ragweed encompasses a large variety of plants that about 20% of Americans are allergic. Ragweed causes runny noses, itchy eyes, and even acts as an asthma trigger. The plants are most common in the East and Midwest of the United States, but ragweed is found anywhere in the country. Ragweed tends to be worse on dry, warm days followed by cold nights. The worst hours typically are between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
How can I fix them?
There are many different ways to limit your exposure to ragweed. Avoid being outside during the peak hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Check the pollen levels in your area. There are plenty of tools available on the internet to check pollen in your community. Many newspapers print the pollen count too.
Dress accordingly, and stay clean. If you are going to be outside during a high pollen count time, make sure to be covered. Long sleeves and packs can be a huge help. If you’re doing yard work that tends to stir up a lot of pollen and dust, wear a protective mask and eyewear. When you’re moving inside, make sure to clean off properly. Pollen can stay attached to both your skin, hair and your clothing. If you can, try to wash your clothes as soon as possible. Make sure to dry your clothes in a dryer if you’re tempted to hang your clothes out to dry.
Try a dehumidifier. Dust mites and molds thrive in a humid environment. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, keeping humidity below 45 is good.
Run your air conditioner. The cold evening can be tempting to open up the windows but don’t if you’re struggling with allergies. Running your air conditioner helps remove moisture from the air. The filter from your air conditioner also keeps pesky pollen at bay.
See your doctor. Allergy tests can help identify what is causing your allergic reaction. Having the allergy test information is the foundation for establishing a plan of attack to keep allergic reactions to a minimum.
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