Things you can do to minimize fall allergy symptoms

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Seasonal fall allergies are sometimes the result of changes in weather that can increase the presence of airborne pollens or mold. In some patients, this can cause the onset of seasonal allergy symptoms. In other cases, seasonal allergies in the fall are caused by more time spent indoors with closed windows, which can trigger allergy symptoms due to indoor mold and dust mites. In either case, it is important to consult with your doctor in order to assess whether indoor or outdoor allergens are the trigger of your symptoms.

Seasonal allergies are common amongst 10-30% of the U.S. population. Including sneezing, itchy nose or throat, watery eyes, and nasal congestion, the onset of fall allergy symptoms can be incredibly disruptive to our day to day lives. In more serious cases, seasonal allergy outbreaks can also include hives, a minor cough, ear fullness or itching, and, in some patients, outbreaks can even be related to asthma. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to mitigate the effects of fall allergy symptoms.

Check pollen levels — If pollen levels are high in your area, limiting outdoor activities can successfully minimize your allergy symptoms. Typically pollen levels are highest in the morning, so many experts advise keeping doors and windows shut until after midday and limiting time spent outside early in the day. Some patients can also avoid strong symptoms by showering or bathing as soon as they come in from outdoors in order to remove pollens from their bodies and clothes.

Keep indoor air clean — Changing air filters, buying an air filtration system or humidifier, and cleaning out your heating vents has been shown to reduce allergens in the home, which can greatly benefit patients who suffer from seasonal allergies.

Choose allergy medications carefully — Not all allergy medications have the same effects, so make sure the one you use is meeting your needs. As always with over-the-counter medicine, consult your doctor to check for potential interactions with your other medications.

Pursue more serious interventions — If necessary, doctors can prescribe stronger treatment options, including advanced diagnostic tests for which specific allergens are causing your allergies. In some cases, allergy shots can work like vaccines to expose you to small amounts of pollen in order to reduce allergy symptoms.