Fall is one of the worst seasons for allergies. As ragweed, mold and other irritants fill the air, millions of people are subject to the itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing and scratchy throat of hay fever. Those who suffer from seasonal allergies dread this time of year, but it doesn’t have to be a full-on nightmare. If you approach seasonal allergies the right way, they don’t have to be crippling. Here are some ways you can manage and control your fall allergies.
Ragweed is the biggest culprit in fall allergies for most people. It produces a lot of pollen and is most active from late August all the way through the first frost of the year. This year the conditions have been optimal for an especially bad ragweed season, so it’s important to manage those fall allergies so they don’t last longer than necessary.
Knowing that ragweed may be the culprit is only part of the solution, however. You need to pay attention to pollen counts and know when the numbers are high and low so you can limit exposure.
Limiting exposure to pollen is the best way to control your seasonal allergies. Generally, you should avoid going outside in the morning between 5 and 10 a.m. Windy days are also something to avoid — since pollen is airborne, days with a high breeze can stir it up.
While indoors, use your air conditioner and keep the windows closed. Shower frequently, and wash your clothes often. All of this will help to keep pollen out of the air and off of your body.
Watching What You Eat
Many people don’t consider food as a trigger for seasonal and pollen-based allergies, but what we eat can trigger allergies even in those who don’t have food sensitivity. Fruits have proteins that are shared with pollen, so certain foods like cucumbers, zucchini, bananas and melons can trigger allergies.
Over the counter meds can be a godsend for those who suffer from fall allergies. Start taking them a good two weeks before allergy season kicks in for the best results. Try 24-hour antihistamines, nasal sprays and eye drops. For many, these make the symptoms of allergy season far more manageable. For those who have problems with oral meds or for whom OTC medication isn’t effective, prescriptions are available.
For others, allergy shots may be a great solution. A qualified allergy doctor can diagnose your triggers, determining the cause of the allergies and can begin a course of shots to desensitize the patient. With injections, your body gradually becomes acclimated to your trigger substances and learns how to deal with them without creating the overzealous immune response that results in allergy symptoms.
Do you suffer from fall allergies in the Atlanta region and find that over the counter medication doesn’t work for you? If so, we can help. Read a bit more about allergies and what causes them, and give us a call for an appointment or for more information today.