Autumn is upon us which brings cooler temperatures, changing leaves, and a never-ending assortment of pumpkin-spiced treats. For some of us, it also brings seasonal allergies.
While most people associate seasonal allergies with springtime, many suffer from autumn allergies as well. If you find yourself stocking up on antihistamines the second summer ends, read below to learn about common culprits and what you can do to reduce your symptoms.
Common Causes of Autumn Allergies
Ragweed is a type of pollen that peaks in mid-September and is a common cause of allergies well into November. It’s commonly found in most of the country, and Pennsylvania is no exception. If you find yourself sneezing and congested while out walking in your neighborhood or biking through Pine Creek Rail Trail this fall, ragweed is likely to blame.
Dust mites are tiny insects that live in house dust and are an incredibly common year-long cause of allergies. They thrive in humid conditions and are impossible to completely avoid (even the cleanest house has a few).
Mold and Mildew
While a year-round concern, in autumn both mold and mildew are frequently found in wet piles of fallen leaves, gutters, and compost piles as well as damp areas of the home like the basement and bathroom.
If you expect any of the above are triggering your autumn allergies there are several ways to minimize your exposure during the fall months.
Tips for Avoiding Autumn Allergies
- Check your local pollen count and try to avoid going out during peak hours (mid-morning to early afternoon).
- Keep the windows of your home and car closed.
- Take off your jacket and shoes before entering your home.
- Vacuum and wash your clothes and linens frequently.
- If you have pets, bathe them regularly.
- Get dust-proof covers for your bedding and wash your bedding regularly.
- Clean your vents before turning on the heat.
- Use a dehumidifier
- Regularly clean and dust your home.
- Clean your gutters and rid them of leaves.
- Don’t leave piles of leaves in your yard.
- If you have a compost bin keep it away from the house and empty the bins frequently.
- Clean bathrooms, kitchen, and any other damp rooms in your house regularly.
When to See an Allergist
While preventative tips and measures like those listed above are helpful in dealing with autumn allergies, if you are experiencing persistent allergy symptoms in the fall it’s wise to seek advice from a board-certified allergist. They can run tests to confirm allergies and provide medication and other treatments.
To schedule an appointment with an allergy expert, contact Pinnacle ENT Associates today.