Along with its beautiful colors, fall brings runny noses, itchy eyes, and sneezing. For some people, seasonal allergies arise from mold, dust mites, and pollen, but there’s no need to suffer. Follow these tips to minimize serious reactions.
The Causes of Fall Allergies
During the fall, ragweed causes more reactions than any other plant. Often called hay fever, these reactions are equally common in the spring and the fall. During the cool nights and warm days of August-October, the wind carries pollen far and wide. Inhalation of ragweed pollen causes allergic rhinitis, and in some cases, it causes a more serious reaction known as anaphylactic shock.
Cold or Allergy?
Many people have a hard time deciding whether they’re suffering from an allergic reaction or a cold, especially because the symptoms are so similar. However, it’s important to note that allergies and colds have different causes.
How to Prevent an Allergic Reaction
To treat symptoms and prevent an allergic reaction, follow these tips.
- Minimize exposure to pollens, especially ragweed. If it’s possible, stay inside and keep the windows closed. Use an air conditioning unit to filter air and change the filter once per month. Be particularly careful on windy, dry days.
- If a household member is allergic to mold, don’t rake leaves. If it’s necessary, use a NIOSH–rated mask, and don’t walk in the woods.
- Control dust mites by encasing pillows and mattresses in allergen-free coverings. Wash bedding once a week in hot water and dry it on the highest heat setting.
- Replace carpeting with hard flooring and remove as much upholstery as possible.
- Vacuum with a HEPA filter or a double-layer microfilter bag.
- Use a damp rag or mop to eliminate dust particles.
In the event of a severe allergic reaction, a person may need to get allergy shots from an allergist or a physician. Children going back to school often encounter high allergen levels, and parents should monitor children’s health during those months.
Managing a seasonal allergy can be difficult, but the team can help. A physician will diagnose the situation, offer suggestions for exposure control, and prescribe the right medications to relieve symptoms.