Have you been feeling a little under the weather lately? Fall allergies may be the cause. Many people associate common allergy symptoms with the springtime. Yet, each season comes with its own set of stimulants, and fall is certainly no exception.
Possible Culprits & Solutions
A few of the most typical fall allergens include ragweed, mold, and dust mites. You may be wondering what causes these things to stir up in the autumn months. Read on to find out and learn what you can do to minimize their effects on your health.
Just one ragweed plant is capable of producing 1 billion grains of pollen. This pollen may, then, travel up to 400 miles from the plant itself. What does this mean for you?
Common symptoms of a ragweed allergy include: itchy/watery eyes, congestion or runny nose, sinus pressure, sneezing, and coughing. While it is difficult to avoid ragweed pollen, there are certain actions you can take to minimize or even avoid its effects.
Stay indoors on particularly windy days and when the pollen count is high. Wear a painter’s mask while doing yard work. Remove jackets and shoes before walking into your home.
Mold is a fungus that grows year-round, but it particularly thrives in the wet, fallen leaves that surround us during autumn months. Indoor mold may also begin to develop in cool, damp areas of your home, including the basement, bathroom, and kitchen.
Similar to the effects of ragweed, mold may cause stuffy noses, sneezing, itchy throats, and watery eyes. Avoiding these symptoms may be as simple as regularly cleaning up your lawn and home.
Rake up and dispose of the fallen leaves that accumulate in your yard and gutters. (Again, be sure to wear a protective mask while doing this type of work.) Keep your kitchen and bathrooms clean to prevent any sort of moldy build-up that can form. Finally, you may want to invest in a dehumidifier, particularly for the basement area.
Dust mites are considered a year-round allergen, but you’re more likely to notice them in the fall. At that moment when you turn on the central heating unit for the first time in months, these dust mites can be blasted through your home.
Again, much like ragweed and mold, exposure to dust mites can cause congestion, coughing, and itchy/watery eyes. While it is practically impossible to rid your home of dust mites entirely, there are some actions you can take to manage their presence.
Before turning on your central heat for the first time, be sure to the clean air vents throughout your home. It’s also important to dust and vacuum your home while washing bed linens regularly.
Still not sure if your symptoms can be attributed to fall allergies or an actual cold? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Frazine to receive a professional consultation!