Unfortunately for allergy sufferers, there’s a new set of allergens every season of the year. As the weather turns cool in the fall, you may notice that you’re suffering from an itchy throat and eyes, runny nose, and constant sneezing. This is a sure sign of fall allergies — and a few common allergens are likely to be the main culprits of typical symptoms. Being aware of what these are will help you steer clear of discomfort throughout the fall.
Though they are constant companions all year round, pets can be a source of allergies in the fall. Your allergy symptoms may be triggered by fur, dander (shedded dead skin), saliva, or even urine.
If you don’t already have a pet but you know you suffer from seasonal allergies, be cautious when thinking of buying or adopting a four-legged friend. Bear in mind that cats are twice as likely to trigger allergies as dogs, some breeds of dogs are even hypoallergenic.
There are ways to reduce the symptoms of your allergies if you already own a pet. For instance, to prevent pets from shedding fur or dander, in spaces with good airflow and where you spend less time throughout the day, you should only allow your pet in some areas of your home — not in the bedroom or on any furniture. In addition, reduce allergens in the air by using an air purifier, and keeping litter boxes and pet beds away from air vents
2. Mildew and Mold
Fungal growth tends to peak during the fall. Both mildew and mold grow in damp patches, creating spores that float in the breeze or in heated air circulating in your house. Although they become dormant in the winter, you’ll need to find a way to cope with them throughout the fall.
The first thing to do is figure out where these fungi are lurking. They thrive in damp places that you may have forgotten to clean, such as corners in the bathroom or kitchen as well as in the basement. Do a deep-clean with a product that contains an anti-mildew agent, or create your own natural cleaning solution using three parts vinegar and one part water. You should also use a dehumidifier to keep your home within the 35 to 50 percent humidity range — a great solution for the basement.
Mildew and mold don’t just grow indoors — they proliferate in warm, wet environments in your yard, such as in piles of leaves or compost. Try to remove waste as soon as possible and keep it far away from your house. Plus, always wear a face mask and gloves when dealing with leaves or compost to avoid inhaling spores and to prevent contact with your skin. Finally, empty your trash cans often.
3. Dust Mites
Another issue you may have if your home is damp is dust mites. These microorganisms survive on the dead skin that accumulates on surfaces in your home. Although they are present year round, Dust mites die when the weather becomes too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer. They prefer temperatures in the range of 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit — meaning fall is their favorite time of year.
Unfortunately, dust mites will be in your home no matter how much you clean. To reduce your allergies, you need to minimize their numbers, which you can achieve in a few ways. Again, a dehumidifier is helpful — aim to keep the humidity in your home at less than 50 percent. You should also dust surfaces and vacuum floors often, using a face mask while cleaning. Most importantly, ensure your air vents are clean before heating your home for the first time in the fall.
To prevent disturbed sleep due to allergies, use dust-proof covers across your entire bed (including the pillows) and wash your bedding frequently in hot water. If this proves to be insufficient, it could be worth switching from carpets to hardwood flooring.
Most people think of pollen allergies as occurring in the spring; however, some plants bloom later in the year. Ragweed doesn’t produce flowers until August, and it keeps spreading pollen long into the fall. In fact, it doesn’t cease until frost kills the plant.
Since a single plant can produce as many as one billion pollen grains in a season, it’s no surprise that you’re suffering from allergies if you live anywhere near one of these plants. Ragweed is common throughout the country, but it’s especially abundant in rural areas in the East and Midwest. If you’re susceptible to spring pollen allergies, there’s a good chance that ragweed will cause you similar problems.
To limit your exposure, check the pollen count for your area on your local news website and avoid going outdoors when the count is high. If possible, remain indoors during times of day when pollen counts are at their peak — this tends to be from mid-morning to early afternoon. If you have no option but to head outside, use a face mask to reduce the amount of pollen you inhale and drive with your windows closed.
You’ll also need to take steps to avoid bringing pollen into your home. Ask your family members to remove their shoes and jackets while still outside, keep windows shut (especially during times of high pollen), and dry your laundry indoors. As even these measures won’t prevent some pollen from entering, you’ll need to be extra diligent about cleaning to remove pollen from carpets, upholstery, curtains, clothing, and even pets.
Another way to prevent fall allergies from bringing you down is to keep your immune system strong. A powerful way to boost your immune system to cope with fall allergens is regularly incorporating essential oils into your daily regimen.. At LaCura, we have blends specifically designed for the fall weather, including ones to help you with respiration to ease the symptoms of your allergies. Check out our online store to find the right solution for you at www.lacuramor.com.