While autumn is a beautiful, temperate time of the year when trees turn to a reddish brown and start to shed their leaves, it can be an irritating time for the sufferers of seasonal allergies.
For these unfortunates, the season means watery eyes, itchy skin, runny nose, itchy nose, sneezing, coughing and congestion rather than poetic views of nature’s glory.
The culprits? Pollen, mould, dust and other airborne molecules (allergens) that float around in the air cause the immune system to over-react and produce allergies.
Tips to avoid autumn allergies
While autumn is an irritating time for allergy sufferers, the good news is that you do not have to feel miserable all the time. Follow the following tips to keep allergies at bay:
1. Stay protected: The best protection is to limit your exposure to allergens, such as ragweed allergy, mould and dust mites. Make sure you close doors and windows of the car and house and set up an air conditioner instead.
Because the microscopic airborne allergens can stick to clothes, take a shower regularly and change the clothes immediately after your outdoor activities. It is also a good idea to avoid drying clothes outside. If possible, avoid outdoor activities and stay indoors in the early morning between 5am and 10am, when allergen levels in the air are highest.
2. Watch warning signs: According to comprehensive research, allergic rhinitis causes inflammation of the lungs and sinuses. At its most severe, respiratory problems like sinusitis and asthma can develop. Hay fever sufferers are also at greater risk of developing allergic eczema and allergies to food.
3. Use medication: Recognize autumn’s allergy symptoms before the onset of the season and treat them immediately using appropriate medications. For example, control typical nasal symptoms with an over-the-counter (OTC) oral antihistamine (non-drowsy) or steroid nasal sprays like Nasonex or Flonase.
4. Avoid allergy-causing foods: Food allergy sufferers stay away from foods that are associated with causing allergies, like watermelon, bananas, zucchini and cantaloupe. In addition to these, dairy products also trigger allergy sufferers to become more congested.
5. Omit the humidifier: Although adding moisture to the air can ease cold symptoms, the use of a humidifier can deteriorate allergies by making rooms more rancid. Dust mites thrive in air with high moist levels. Don’t use a humidifier or reduce humidity through settings on your air conditioner.
6. Plan in advance: If you find no relief from lifestyle measures such as pills and sprays, consider using allergy shots. Experts say that taking proper medical care in advance is better than waiting for autumn to begin before reacting. Using immunity shots before to the start of the season allows the immune system to produce antibodies and build immunity.