Have cold-like symptoms that never seem to go away? Your congestion, running nose, watery eyes and constant sneezing may not be coming from the common cold virus – you could be one of the millions suffering from fall allergies. Goldenrod, curly dock, lamb’s quarters, ragweed, sheep sorrel, and sagebrush all sound like friendly, harmless names but they are actually the pollinating plants causing your seasonal discomfort. Other things like molds and tree pollen can contribute to you getting allergic rhinitis or hay fever.
The fall weed season lasts from mid-August through October. High pollen counts are expected this season as a result of the hot and dry summer. Ragweed pollen is an extremely potent allergen. Experts say that 3.8 million days of work or school are missed each year due to ragweed allergy symptoms.
So how are you supposed to fight allergens that are in the air all around you? Try out some of these tips to help you breathe easier and enjoy the beautiful season of fall for a change:
- Be extra cautious on windy days, especially in the morning (pollen is most often released in the mornings).
- Keep your windows closed when driving. If you use your air conditioner, leave the windows open a couple minutes when you first start it to allow mold spores to dissipate.
- Shower frequently to remove pollen from skin and hair.
- Dry your clothes in the dryer instead of out on a clothesline.
- If you have to rake leaves in your yard, wear a facemask.
- Place moisture absorbers in bathrooms, kitchen and laundry areas, and closets to create fresher, healthier indoor air
- Check your local weather for daily pollen counts.
- Rinse and clean nasal passages after exposure.
- Begin allergy medication (antihistamines, decongestants, nasal sprays) early, do not wait.
There are treatments if your allergies do become unbearable and start affecting your daily life.