Stop Crying: 8 Ways To Beat Fall Allergies
Fall. The perfect time to get outside. Unfortunately, all of those gorgeous hikes and leaf-peeping trips come at a price for those with autumn allergies. The pollen from ragweed is lightweight and stubborn, which makes it nearly impossible to avoid for the estimated thirty percent of adult Americans who have hay fever. This time of year also sees a batch of mold growing from the new hay and leaves settling in on the ground. But don’t let the season pass without enjoying it — here’s how to combat the sneezing, sniffling, and that awfully itchy throat.
1. WATCH WHAT YOU EAT. Certain foods can exacerbate allergy symptoms because they contain proteins similar to the ones in ragweed: The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America recommends avoiding bananas, melons, and chamomile.
2. KEEP A TIDY HOME. Regular vacuuming, dusting, and cleaning can ward off accumulating indoor allergens like mites, spores, and dander.
3. CLEAN YOUR FILTERS. Check to make sure the filters in your heating and cooling systems are clean. In addition to running more efficiently, the filters in your air conditioners or furnaces will keep out the pesky pollen. Dehumidifiers can help, too, by wicking away air moisture.
4. WASH YOUR DOG. If you don’t have time for a full bath, at least brush your dog outside and, especially, on high-pollen days.
1. AVOID PEAK POLLEN TIMES. Limit exposure to pollen by staying indoors when the count is highest, usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. (Some days are stronger than others so check the weather forecast or National Allergy Bureau for a reading on the pollen count.) Typically, pollen counts are higher on a hot, windy, sunny day compared to one with cool temps and no wind.
2. KEEP YOUR CAR WINDOWS CLOSED. If it gets hot, use the air conditioner: In addition to cooling you off, it’ll filter the air.
3. SCHEDULE YARDWORK TO AVOID POLLEN AND MOLD. Another trigger of allergies is the mold from wet leaves, hay, and straw. Pick up fallen leaves before they have a chance to get cozy on the ground or schedule yard work before it rains. (More rain means more pollen and outdoor mold.) Wearing a mask and/or sunglasses when working outside will help, too.
4. WASH, WASH, WASH. Don’t track pollen back into the house — change (and wash) your clothes after spending time outdoors. Even better, shower as soon as possible to remove pollen from your face and hair. (This is especially important before bed where pollen can be transferred onto sheets and pillowcases.)
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