If you’re already starting to feel some sniffles here and there or even some occasional sneezes, it could be because your seasonal allergies are starting to kick in. Fall allergies tend to be more intense than other seasons for many people. Luckily, there are steps you can take to combat them efficiently. Whether that be making some simple lifestyle adjustments, having a more mindful outlook, or being more proactive around the house, overpreparing yourself is the mindset to have if you want to defeat your allergens. For best success, try out these 10 tips to get you ready for allergy season.
1. Know when you’re most susceptible
Many allergy sufferers struggle with understanding what exactly is causing their flair ups. They don’t know when or how to plan things, what to look out for, and what allergens are even affecting them. If this is relatable, here’s the lowdown on everything you need to know.
The most prominent allergen to be aware of this fall is ragweed, a pollen that sprouts typically in August and sticks around for the months of fall. Typically found in rural areas, particularly on the East Coast and the Midwest, ragweed is all around and should be taken seriously. Next, be on the lookout for mildew and mold. With the cooler weather approaching, these environments around the home (and outside) become the perfect Petri dishes for this allergen to grow. Finally, dust mites are particularly evident during the fall. Later we’ll touch on ways to clean away dust, but be aware that dust collects more during the fall season.
Now that you know what to be on the lookout for, remember that weather conditions can accelerate these allergens and affect you adversely. For example, windy days are ones you’ll most likely find pollen blowing around you and on surfaces. Be mindful of cooler and rainier days too as these are the times where pollens can thrive within the moisture of the air.
2. Make use of over-the-counter medicine
When your symptoms start causing some serious problems with your health, it’s probably time to get over the counter medicines to successfully treat these issues. Depending on your symptoms you’re experiencing, it can determine the type of medication to seek. Decongestants can provide relief for stuffy noses and mucus buildup, while traditional antihistamines are better for sniffles and itchy eyes.
It’s important to realize too that everybody is different and that every medication will affect their bodies differently. For example, different dosages and brands can even cause the slightest variation in the results and even whether or not it is effective. To help avoid purchasing the wrong medication for your allergies, look to places that provide a vast array of products that can treat you. Start out online to see if you can get OTC medicine delivered in your area. These kinds of services have become some of the best places to find anything from eye drops to allergy capsules. Not to mention, having this variety of products at your fingertips is another way to avoid getting to the store and exposing yourself to more germs!
3. Tidy up your home
Cleaning during allergy season is essential and one of the main ways you can keep your allergies under control. It’s crucial to be proactive about the allergens entering your living space. On top of how frequent, where, and when you clean, you should set aside time to do some of the rare chores like vacuuming your floors and cleaning your bathrooms. Areas like floors, bathrooms, and bedrooms are the most susceptible to be hotspots for pollen if not cleaned.
In terms of tips and tricks for other chores around the house, here are some effortless ones to keep in mind. Be sure to clean items like bedsheets, rugs, and pillowcases weekly and in hot temperatures. The warmness of washing and drying machines can kill specimens like dust mites and ragweed. Also, when drying these items, don’t hang them outside to air dry because this will only allow more pollen to get on them. Stick to the washer and dryer. Finally, be mindful of small gestures like taking off shoes in the house and wearing a mask while cleaning. Cleaning can be a small effort, big impact task if tackled correctly!
4. Assess your diet
In what could seem like one of the more difficult lifestyle changes to actually put into place, introducing new foods into your diet can help you fight off some of your strongest allergens. When it comes to your immune system, what you put into your body daily can serve as catalysts to fight or nutrients to fuel the fire.
It’s best to avoid things like alcohol, peanuts, processed foods, wheat, and even your morning cup of coffee. Items in these categories are known to promote mucus production that can contribute to sniffling and even a runny nose.
On the other hand, there are tons of different options to explore to help boost how you’re feeling. Spicy foods like pepper and garlic are ideal for anyone facing congestion while fresh organic fruits and vegetables are key to gain those essential nutrients. Believe it or not, by adding honey to your meals, you can begin to build up your immunity and ultimately help you become resistant to your allergens. Check out this food guide for even more options on what to add to your daily rotation!
5. Rethink your wardrobe
Fall is all about spending the last few months with good weather before winter rolls around, and just like rocking a cozy coat in the winter, you should think about some outfit additions during the fall to help out your cause. One idea (and a fashionable one at that) is wearing hats during the fall-time. Protecting your hair from potential triggers that float in the air will keep them from sticking in your hair and staying near your face all day long. Other great options to consider include sunglasses that protect your eyes from pollen (and eventual itchy eyes) and even masks to protect your nose and mouth from breathing these in.
6. Seek professional help
Depending on the severity of your symptoms and overall effect on your day-to-day life, you may want to consider locating your local allergist to help you with some more personalized solutions to your allergies. If you find your allergies severely affecting the way you live your life, your ability to sleep, and even your strength to exercise you should look to seek a professional allergist who can pinpoint your specific case. Do some research to find a specialist that fits your needs and give it a try. A personalized plan can be one of the most impactful and quick solutions to fighting off the season’s culprits.
7. Invest in home tech
Your home should be a safe haven for you and a place to hopefully free yourself from outdoor pollen. However, sometimes it can be tough for a variety of reasons and these triggers can follow you indoors. A major item to think about is an air purifier that can filter your indoor air to improve air quality. There are many different types of air purifiers that accomplish all certain kinds of purposes, so be aware of this as you’re browsing around for what might be the best fit for your home. Plus, if you’re without a dehumidifier already, having one for the fall can prevent that moist autumn air from attracting mold and mildew in your home. These kinds of appliances are perfect for keeping the air not too humid and not too dry, as to avoid sniffles and such.
8. Be mindful of your pets
Believe it or not, but your pets in your home can actually be contributing to your allergies! Not only does their fur and dander contribute to possible allergy attacks and even asthmatic symptoms, but their long amounts of time spent outside can attract all sorts of allergens into your home. If your pet spends time outside in the fall rolling around in the leaves, playing with their toys, or even simply just going to the bathroom, be sure to wipe them down or even give them regular baths to remove pollen. Especially on windy days, your pet can be a walking allergen trigger and you won’t even know it.
9. Shower at night
Everyone’s habits are different, but when it comes to showering, grooming, and hygiene, it is in your best interest to think about changing your routine, at least during the fall. If you find yourself outside a lot, try showering at night right before bed. If you do already that’s great, but if you don’t, doing this can wash away the potential pollen that sits on your clothes, face, and body the entire day. Without washing up before bed, you can spread these allergens to your bed sheets and pillowcases that you would potentially be breathing in all night long.
10. Consider immunotherapy
If all else fails, you can take extreme measures with your allergists and go the route of immunotherapy (or allergy shots). Essentially working as boosters to prepare for the upcoming season, getting particular allergens into your body by shots, drops, and even tablets will help boost your immunity to your triggers and help desensitize your body to an allergic reaction. It’s critical to note that if you want to proceed with this more serious treatment, it should be done well ahead of allergy season. Most allergists suggest up to 12 weeks prior to the season to start receiving shots or seeking treatment.
As allergy season ramps up, consider these different ways that you can prepare yourself in the meantime. Again, the more prepared you are, the better your chances of fiending off allergens will be. Be sure to let us know as well about your favorite tips and tricks to beat allergies.