Hating hay fever?
Fall brings a change in the leaves, but can also be a trigger for many living with allergies.
While autumn doesn’t have the same notoriety for allergens as spring time, about 75% of people allergic to springtime pollens also respond to pollen from ragweed, the most prevalent weed in North Carolina. But wherever you live, allergies could also be triggered by fall plants in bloom including pigweed, sagebrush, or tumbleweed. So how do you fight these third quarter allergies?
The weather can also impact pollen counts significantly. Because of stormwater runoff, pollen counts can spike after heavy rains. Windy days can disrupt collected pollens on the ground. If molds trigger reactions for you, high heat and humidity can increase spore growth and disturb your system. You can also check reported pollen counts in your region through the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. You can also learn there what irritants are most prevalent for major areas of the U.S. For example, Cedar trees produce heavy pollen in Asheville in autumn while elms and pines plague the Charlotte area.
Time your outings
If you want to enjoy outdoor activities like running, avoid the morning hours. The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, pollens tend to peak in the morning hours. But depending on the pollens causing you particularly trouble, it’s worth doing research to learn the worst times for you to venture out. Ragweed pollen counts, for example, tend to spike in the midday.
Clear the air
Introducing a device like a dehumidifier with a HIPA filter can scrub the air of allergens, according to Trustcare. Make sure to change or clean the filter regularly so it continues to remove irritants. That should improve the quality of the air inside your home, as you take on more indoors activities for the season. Everyday Health notes simply using air conditioning in a home — again making sure to keep filters changed and clean at appropriate intervals — can remove moisture from the air and clear it of many irritants.
Plenty of over-the-counter decongestants and antihistamines can help with congestion. Depending on the degree and frequency of allergy attacks, it’s possible you can deal with occasional attacks simply with products available without a prescription. If the allergies become severe, consult with an allergist about the best treatments.
When you engage in outdoor chores like mowing the lawn, wear a dust mask to protect your respiratory system from disrupted pollens and allergies that rush through the air. Wear it if you have to rake leaves, weed landscaping or take on any type of activity that expose your system directly to plants and pollens.