|How to Prevent Fall Allergy Symptoms - Photo by Muffet|
Autumn can pack a big allergy punch. Symptoms sometimes lead to infections like sinusitis or increased symptoms of chronic lung conditions such as asthma or COPD. This often translates to increased fatigue and stress with loss of sleep, missed work and/or school hours, and missed opportunities to enjoy one of nature's most beautiful seasons.
Examples of allergic symptoms may include:
- stuffy nose
- itchy eyes
- watery eyes
- dark circles under the eyes
|What Causes Fall Allergies - Photo by Albert Bridge|
- pollen (often from trees and weeds like ragweed)
- mold (colder states tend to peak in the Fall while warmer states usually peak in the summer)
An allergist/immunologist can work with someone who suffers from allergies to develop a customized plan that might include allergy testing, immunotherapy (allergy shots), prescription or over-the-counter allergy medications, and specific, personalized suggestions for environmental controls that are likely to be most effective based on his/her assessment and past allergy history.
|How to Avoid Fall Allergies - Photo of Allergy Testing by Wolfgang Ihloff|
- Avoid or limit going outside during peak allergy season – dry, windy days tend to have high pollen counts.
- Wear a mask when participating in outdoor activities such as raking leaves or mowing the grass.
- Bathe, wash your hair, and change clothes when coming inside after spending time outside – if that's not possible, you might consider wearing an extra layer of garments and a hat that can be easily removed and wash your hands, arms, and face when coming indoors.
- Dry clothes and bedding inside the house rather than hanging on a clothes line outdoors.
- Keep doors and windows to the house closed – many people enjoy the fresh air, but someone with allergies may discover that the fresh air indoors seems to be on a mission to search and destroy his/her ability to breathe.
- Clean vents and change filters before turning on the furnace for the first time.
- A humidifier and/or air purifier may help some people who suffer from allergies.
- Some people find cleaning the sinuses daily with a neti pot or saline nasal spray to be very helpful.
- Control or eliminate additional allergens and irritants, such as indoor smoke, dust, mold, and pet dander.
If allergy symptoms worsen or persist despite decreased pollen and mold counts, a secondary infection may have developed or a chronic condition may be complicating issues. People who have allergies may develop new allergies at any time. Work or school environmental conditions may also trigger symptoms. Common irritants like smoke and perfumes may worsen symptoms. People with persistent symptoms may also wish to explore the possibility of additional allergies such as food, dust mites, medications, animal dander, latex, insect bites, and/or cockroaches.
|Tips for Dealing with Fall Allergies - Photo by Douglas Muth|
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- Fall Allergies accessed on WebMD.com on 9/26/2013.
- National Allergy Bureau accessed on the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology web site on 9/26/2013.
- The Ten Most Common Allergy Triggers in the United States accessed on TestCountry.org on 9/26/2013.