Dealing with Fall Allergies
Most people think of allergies as something that occurs only in the spring. However, if you or a family member are one of the many affected by fall allergies, you know just how difficult it can be.
Types of Fall Allergies
One of the largest contributors to allergies during the fall is ragweed. This plant can produce up to one billion grains of pollen per plant per season. Ragweed pollen has a distinct advantage in that it is lightweight and can travel hundreds of miles. The weed itself is versatile; it can grow along roadways, cracks in the sidewalk and in open fields. The pollen usually affects those between late summer and early to mid-fall.
The remaining contributors include a few other weeds and molds. The weeds may include sagebrush, goldenrod and pigweed. While their pollen can certainly cause discomfort for some, they do not pose as big a problem as ragweed for the majority of those affected by fall allergies.
Mold spores can be found throughout the early spring and summer; however, they become much more of a problem during autumn when the leaves fall. As the day warms up, the spores actually can rise into the air and affect the health of those who have to travel. In the evening, the spores return back to the ground.
The symptoms for fall allergies can vary depending on how each person is affected. While these symptoms are temporary, they can cause you or your family member to be utterly miserable. Someone affected by allergies may experience a runny nose, persistent coughing and itchy eyes. It can be difficult to pay attention in school or at work and can affect a person’s ability to do the best work possible.
Reducing Allergies in the Fall
Although allergies can be problematic, there are ways to prevent or reduce the symptoms so that they are manageable. Here are some precautions that can be taken by you or your affected family member:
- Close the Windows: During the day when most mold spores are hanging in the air or ragweed is releasing pollen, it is best to keep the windows closed to prevent allergic reactions in the home.
- Install a Whole-Home Air Cleaner: Aprilaire products can help you fight back at the particles that are harming your home and family.
- Clean or Replace the Filters: If the air filters are clogged and you turn on the air conditioner, pollen and mold spores that were trapped can cycle back through the home. Clean filters can capture more contaminants.
- Shower and Wash Clothing Frequently: As you walk around outside, spores and pollen can get into your hair and clothing. Showering and washing clothing will remove the allergens.
- Vacuum and Dust Regularly: Vacuuming and dusting regularly will help remove any pollen or mold spores that are brought into the home.
- Wear a Protective Mask: These masks can prevent a person from breathing in pollen and mold spores. While they may not be the most socially acceptable method, they can keep someone who has to be outdoors from suffering from allergies.
Get Help for Your Allergies
Fall allergies can be extremely disruptive, especially if they keep you or your family member from being unable to sleep, concentration or be as productive as possible when in school or at work. If you or your family member suffers these symptoms during this time of year, they may wish to be diagnosed by a doctor through a simple blood test or a skin test. If it is found that you or your family member is allergic to certain common fall allergens, medication may be possible.