More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies. If you count yourself as one like yours truly, then you know the misery that accompanies this condition with the sneezing, headaches, coughing, itchy eyes, scratchy throat, runny nose, dark circles under the eyes, and post-nasal drip of this sixth leading cause of chronic illness in our country. Given that, then you also may be wondering why symptoms from those allergies can get worse during fall and what to do about it for relief. You may be especially confused if you never suffered from fall allergies in the past so let me explain.
Thanks to our changing climate, we have warmer weather that helped the growing cycle of trees, grass and weeds to produce more pollen. Even as the temperatures get cooler through fall, the winds can carry that pollen into the air for hundreds of miles. The primary culprit for fall allergies is ragweed, which keep having higher pollen counts every year that start from mid-August through the usual time of mid-September when fall allergies peak until the first frost kills everything.
Together with increased mold spores as leaves and other foliage begins to decompose outside along with more moisture inside the home from damp basements to bathrooms can contribute additional agony to make fall allergies worse.
Dust mites are still another complication that can cause fall allergies to be worse. Changing air filters for HEPA filters regularly, checking your heating system, dusting, and vacuuming can ease these allergy symptoms. You also may want to use certain indoor plants. Furthermore, it also helps to allergy-proof your home.
Being confined inside can also dry out the air to compound the misery associated with fall allergies. You may want to invest in a humidifier to keep nasal passages from inflammation or even place a small bowl of water by a heating grate can work.
This year your fall allergies also are worse with COVID-19 and the rigorous use of disinfectant and antibacterial cleaning products for sanitizing. Therefore, the extensive and prolonged need of using such strong chemicals to stay safe can affect our immune systems negatively.
What helps is wearing your mask when outdoors, especially when doing yard work. Consequently, it helps to avoid being outside when the pollen count is at its highest level. This is usually late morning or midday.
Unlike a virus from a cold to the coronavirus, you will never get a fever with an allergy. Itching of the skin or that itchy feeling in your eyes is what distinguishes allergies from colds and other illnesses as well. Nasal mucous is also clear whereas yellow in color to indicate the presence of infection.
For relief, you may want to try using an antihistamine or a nasal spray to get through this time of fall allergies.
Other ways to help relieve fall allergy symptoms are doing simple things like changing into a different pair of shoes once entering your home. Leave them in a place like your garage instead of bringing them into your living space to expose you to the collected pollens can reduce your exposure to outdoor allergy triggers.
Washing your hair once you return from the outdoors before bedtime also can make a big difference in getting rid of pollens and help you sleep better through the night.
Eyes that feel horrible also may find relief using a lubricant eye drop. This is a safer choice more than one that will constrict blood vessels to solve bloodshot eyes.
Fall allergies may not seem serious to some people. However, this is not an experience you want to go through. This information is not meant to diagnose, but only to inform in order to help.