Crisp cool mornings, crimson and golden leaves falling, yes folks it’s fall again. For some, that means fall related allergies, indoor and outdoor. Itchy eyes, runny nose, cough and sinus congestion can really make the fall season miserable for enjoying football, sitting by the fire enjoying the fall colors. What can be done to help make this time of year tolerable or maybe even better?
Let’s start with outdoor allergens that only come out when the leaves start to fall.
- Compost heaps, hay cutting, raking leaves all have airborne allergens that can lead to misery if you suffer from fall allergies. What can be done? Try wearing a surgical mask when outdoors working in your yard raking leaves, or if you live on or near a farm that is cutting hay. Make sure to shower before bed to get any left-over particles off.
- Damp areas, like garages and garden sheds will have mold and mildew spores. These spores can be disturbed and become airborne, again think about wearing a mask to ensure those spores aren’t inhaled. Gloves will also help if you are working in these areas so that the spores of mold and mildew aren’t accidentally brought inside your home.
- Pets that are allowed outside and inside can also bring outdoor allergens inside on their fur or paws. Think about wiping paws off at the door and bathing your pet more frequently to remove any pollen, dust or mold spores from their fur, if you have a pet dander allergy you should consider keeping your pet outside to avoid contact with the dander.
Inside where it’s warm and cozy, you can curl up with a warm cup of cider and an enjoyable book. Then your nose starts to run, a little cough and sinus pressure. Nope not a cold! Indoor allergies can be blamed. Dust that gathers on the mantel, book shelves, and other assorted items can be stirred into the air causing issues. Mold and mildew in your walls, floors and basements mixed with indoor potted plant soil is more harmful than you might think. How can these indoor allergy symptoms be lessened?
- When dusting use a cloth that is damp. This will catch the dust particles and you won’t have them flying around free to be inhaled.
- Vacuum often, but also clean out the vacuum cleaner often. Dust and particles will be collected inside the vacuum and can be reintroduced the air you breathe.
- Remove any old papers, bedding and boxes that have been stored in the basement or attic. If stored in the attic or a crawl space these items are more likely to have collected dust, mold and mildew spores or particles. Fall cleaning is just as important as Spring cleaning.
- Change the filters in your house so that you are removing any build-up of dust and debris that could be inhaled.
- Invest in a good dehumidifier to remove any extra moisture from your home that could cause mold and mildew growth.
- Shower curtains should be washed once a month at least to remove any mold or mildew. Show curtain liners should be replaced frequently, liners can have a gross amount of mildew build up at the bottom where is hangs into your tub or shower.
- Clean your bathroom fans from gathered dust.
- Damp clothes and linens should be dried quickly so that mildew does not form.
People who suffer from Fall allergies can enjoy the fall weather and all that comes with the season. Just make sure to keep those tips in mind and your fall will be as spectacular as the changing of the leaves.