Five Tips for Fighting Fall Allergies
For allergy sufferers, fall means more than just back to school and football games. According to WebMd, ragweed, mold, and dust mites are the most prevalent allergy triggers during the fall and winter, and can cause uncomfortable symptoms in those individuals suffering from allergies. When the allergens are released into the air, they can get into our nasal passageways and cause the immune systems to attack. This leads to the release of chemicals caused histamines, which trigger the dreaded allergy symptoms.
Allergy symptoms often include: runny nose; itchy, watery eyes; itchy nose and throat; sneezing; coughing; puffy eyes, and dark circles. While these symptoms can be miserable, here are five helpful tips to fight fall allergies.
Use medications. Antihistamines block the histamines the body releases during an allergic reaction, thus reducing the symptoms. These can be purchased at the pharmacy without a prescription; however, it’s always best to talk to your doctor to ensure that you purchase the best medication for you. Some common over the counter antihistamines are Allegra, Zyrtec, Claritin, and Benadryl. Make sure to read the packages carefully as some may cause drowsiness.
Get an air filter. Investing in an air purifier with a HEPA filter can be very beneficial to control your indoor environment. Dust mites and mold can thrive indoors and out, but even if your allergy triggers are solely outside, they can travel through open doors, windows and air vents, causing symptoms. The allergens can even affect you while sleeping, leading to swollen, red, itchy eyes in the morning, which is not the best way to start the day! Air filters and purifiers can be purchased at stores such as Target, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and Walmart.
Avoid being outside at prime pollen time. You can monitor the pollen activity in your area by checking The Weather Channel’s Pollen Forecast. WebMd reports that pollen is at its peak between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., so staying indoors during this part of the day may help control symptoms.
Don’t bring allergens to bed. Shower and remove all clothing you have worn outside before getting into bed. Even if you can’t see any pollen or allergens on you, if you were outside, you’re probably carrying some. By rinsing off and changing into fresh clothes, you will keep your bed and indoor environment allergen-free, allowing a pleasant night’s sleep and relief from additional symptoms.
Don’t rub your eyes or nose! As irritating as it may be, try to avoid touching your face when allergy symptoms strike. Allergens can often be present on your hands, and scratching your eyes and nose will only spread more and worsen the symptoms. Instead, use a clean tissue to wipe your eyes and nose to alleviate the itch.
By keeping your allergy symptoms under control, you’ll be free to enjoy all of the excitement that fall has to offer!
Story by Marni Goldstein, contributing writer.