As Middle Tennessee welcomes the crisp weather and stunning kaleidoscopic hues of fall, we must also prepare once again for the onslaught of fall allergies that arrive alongside them. 

Although thoughts of allergies may conjure spring bouquets and undulating grasslands as the main culprits, fall can actually be the most challenging time for those suffering from seasonal sneezes. In fact, ragweed, which reigns autumn, is the most common allergy in the country, affecting 23 million people in the United States alone. Mold and dust mites join ragweed to create a perfect storm of allergens that can be almost impossible to avoid.

The good news is, there are ways to protect yourself from allergy attacks before they have a chance to ruin your day(s). Additionally, a number of tried-and-true methods now exist for halting an attack that has already started. Today, we’ll cover the doctor-recommended tactics you can use to defeat allergies throughout autumn this year, and into the years to come.


Allergy Symptoms

If you have fall allergies, you’ve probably had times in the past where you felt unsure whether you were experiencing allergy symptoms or a full-blown cold. The following symptom checklist can help you determine whether you’re sick or just reacting to your environment.

  • Watery, itchy eyes
  • Itchy mouth and lips
  • Upset stomach
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Clear, thin, abundant mucous 
  • Wheezing and/or worsening asthma
  • Hives, all-over itching, eczema, extra dry skin

 

Tips to Beat Back Allergens

  • If you’re sensitive to dust mites, mold, and dander, keep your home’s humidity in check. Clean thoroughly at least once per week, especially beneath appliances and furniture, where dust tends to collect.
  • Consider eliminating carpet, or if you can’t give up a plush floor beneath your feet, choose a low pile that’s easy to clean thoroughly.
  • If your allergist uncovers that you’re allergic to outdoor allergens, it will probably be best for you to limit your time outdoors when pollen forecasts are high. Keep the windows closed and run your indoor air through a central air system equipped with a HEPA filter. Furthermore, using a central air system will reduce indoor humidity, which will discourage the growth of mold and mildew throughout hour home.
  • Ideally, achieving optimal health when living with moderate to severe fall allergies requires several “rest days” per week. During these rest days, you’ll avoid contact with your major allergy triggers and encourage your histamine levels to fully return to normal. If you work outside of the home, you can take your rest days on the weekends.
  • On days when you know you’ll be outdoors, it’s best to wear long-sleeved protective clothing to keep pollen off your skin. When you must rake leaves or mow your lawn, cover your hair with a hat or scarf. Wear a face mask to protect your respiratory system from being flooded with allergens. 
  • When you return indoors after your fall yard work, remove your “outdoor clothing” and launder it right away. As your clothes are being washed, doctors recommend that you shower thoroughly to remove traces of pollen from your skin and hair.
  • While it is certainly eco-friendly to dry laundry outdoors on a line or drying rack, this could backfire on anyone with seasonal allergies. Damp clothing acts as a magnet for pollen, ensuring that you’ll come face-to-face with allergens when you make your bed or dress yourself with laundry caked in pollen. Instead, either dry your laundry in your clothes dryer or hang it indoors in a warm spot where there is plenty of airflow. Only hang laundry that can dry fully within twelve hours; any longer, and you’ll risk cultivating mildew spores in your freshly-scrubbed linens.

Medication

Allergies are more than just a runny nose. In fact, elevated histamine levels are unhealthy for the whole body over the long-term. Therefore, it’s important that anyone struggling with allergies work with their doctor to choose a medication that effectively and consistently reduces their symptoms. 

Choose from oral medications, nasal sprays, immunotherapy injections, or mix and match to create the regimen that’s right for you. If you suffer from allergy-induced sneezing and a runny nose, consider using a sterile saline wash to physically wash away lingering allergenic particles.

Once you’ve found a medication that works well for you, keep taking it. If you feel like your symptoms have improved, it’s likely due to the cumulative effects of the medication. Rather than easing off your dosing or eliminating your allergy medication altogether, stick with it, and enjoy each symptom-free day you have.


Climate Change and Allergies

Unfortunately, research points to climate change as being the most likely reason you’re feeling the funk sooner each year, and potentially for longer stretches of time. The climbing temps resulting from climate change promote plant growth—especially ragweed—and thus bring fall allergies earlier with each passing year. The more we do to fight climate change, the better our health is likely to be.


The Link Between Allergies and Covid-19

Since lung health, along with a healthy BMI, is a key factor in an individual’s ability to fight off Covid-19, there’s no better time to work diligently to keep your fall allergies under control. 


If you follow the advice listed above, please do so only under a physician’s supervision. This article is not a substitute for (and should not be misconstrued as) medical advice. 

Posted by Parks Real Estate on

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