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How to enjoy the fall with allergies

Fall is beautiful, but fall allergies are not!
Fall is beautiful, but fall allergies are not!
Grand Rapids Allergy Examiner

Fall is here! Brisk breezes, sunny afternoons, falling leaves, mold, ragweed, sneezing, itchy eyes, wheezing...what happened? While fall brings gorgeous views and weather to Michigan, it also brings with it some nasty allergies. There are ways to enjoy the fall without sneezing yourself into oblivion. Here are some tips to enjoying this fall with allergies.

  1. Ragweed it's everywhere! It's near to impossible to simply avoid exposure to ragweed in the fall in Michigan. However, you can reduce it's affects on your allergies by reducing it's prevalence on your clothes. Make sure to change your clothes after spending time outdoors and promptly put them in the wash. Another good measure to take is to shower every night before bed in the fall. This will remove the pollen from your body and specifically your hair. Asthmatics know that asthma flares tend to increase in the late evening, especially in the fall. This can be reduced if you are allergic to pollen by simply taking a shower at night.
  2. Mold. During the fall, those beautiful changing leaves bring about a ugly allergen, mold. Jumping in leaf piles can bring about trouble for those with mold allergies. If your allergies can withstand the jump, you can still take some basic preventative measures to reduce reactions once out of the pile. Again, showers before bed are a key tactic here to remove allergens from your body and hair. If you have pets, it is a good idea to have them groomed more often in the fall and consider keeping them off plush furniture that can not be easily wiped clean.
  3. Vacuum the room! Get a HEPA filter on your vacuum cleaner, put on your headphones, and vacuum your allergens away. More frequent vacuuming during the fall will help to pick up those mold spores, dust mites, and pollen that is carried in from outside. If you have hard wood floors, make sure to sweep often to avoid kicking up the dust into the air and into your nasal passages.
  4. Filter the air. A simple measure that is easily forgotten is to regularly change your air filter and clean your heating ducts. This is especially important before your turn on your heat for the first time after the summer months.
  5. Antihistamines. If you know you will be outside for awhile and are concerned about having trouble with your allergies or asthma, taking an antihistamine can be very helpful. Check with your doctor as to the right one for you. Antihistamines can reduce the degree of a allergy flare up when you are unable to avoid your environmental allergens. They are particularly effective when taken prior to allergen exposure. Again, make sure to check with your doctor before taking any medication.

Fall is a beautiful time of year. Try some of the tips above to reduce your allergy issues from fall triggers and get out there and enjoy the weather!

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