Fall is officially here and the days are definitely getting shorter. If you’re like me, you’re trying to savor the remaining warm days as much as possible. If you’re also like me, however, fall allergies can make it difficult to enjoy this time of year.
It’s easy to understand why you might suffer from allergies in the spring. The snow has melted and the world around us goes into full bloom. But what’s up with fall allergies?
Ragweed and mold are the two big culprits in fall. Ragweed thrives in the warm sunny days and cool nights. The release of ragweed pollen usually starts in August but can continue through September and October.
Mold is the other culprit. Mold thrives in damp cool places. As leaves and other yard debris pile up, our yards become conducive environments for mold growth.
Mold spores and pollen love to ride the wind, so even if your area is free of these allergens, a windy day can bring them to your neighborhood.
Here are some tips to reduce allergy symptoms and enjoy the remaining warm sunny fall days.
- Keep the air conditioning on. My wife loves to open the windows this time of year. Warm daily temperatures and cool nights are perfect for a comfortable home. I enjoy driving with the windows down and the moon roof open. If your allergies are kicking up, however, it’s best to keep the windows closed and the air conditioning on. By doing this, you keep allergens out.
- Change your exercise routine. If you enjoy an early evening run or walk, you may want to switch to an early morning routine. Ragweed is spread when the winds pick up. According to WebMD, the pollen counts are highest between 10:00am and 4:00pm.
- After washing your clothes, don’t hang them outside to dry. Pollen gets trapped in your clothes or linens.
- Shower after outdoor activities. If you spent the day doing yard work, playing golf, or enjoying a pumpkin farm, take a shower afterwards. A shower will rinse the pollen off your skin and out of your hair. Also, throw your clothes in the wash to avoid spreading the allergens throughout your home.
- Change your air conditioner filter frequently. While this is an easy tip, it’s one I often neglect. Experts recommend changing the filter monthly. If you’re an allergy sufferer, a hypoallergenic filter is recommended. I usually cringe at the price of these filters, but if they help keep your home allergen free, they’re worth it.
- Check your weather app. Weather apps provide all kinds of helpful information. Consider downloading an app that provides pollen counts. I have the Weather Channel® app and it provides pollen counts for trees, grass, and weeds.
- Take allergy medication consistently. From April 1 until the first hard frost, I use two nasal sprays and take an oral antihistamine. As my symptoms improve, however, I get lazy and don’t take the medications as I should. The key to allergy relief is consistency. Before taking any medications, please consult your medical professional.
- Clean your home regularly. Cleaning your home regularly can minimize allergens (mold, pollen, dust mites, pet dander) in your home. Keep in mind the cleaning process doesn’t have to be a big production. Simply vacuuming, dusting, and washing bed linens can be beneficial.
Do you have any tips you’d like to share? I’d love to hear your thoughts; please share them in the box below.