The Season to Sneeze
10 tips to Allergy-Proof Your Home for the Fall Season
By Kennika Freeman
Students are back at school. Temperatures will soon cool off and leaves will begin turning glorious colors. It's fall! This is the time of year to thinking of Halloween pumpkins and Thanksgiving turkeys.
Unfortunately, fall is also a time when seasonal allergies may begin to act up. Weed pollen --- particularly ragweed pollen --- is a major culprit during these months. Mold spores are also often at their highest levels. So if you have seasonal allergies, get ready for itchy eyes, noses, ears and mouths.
During the fall season, ragweed is the biggest allergy trigger. Though the yellow-flowering weed typically begins pollinating in August, it can linger well into the fall months. About three-quarters of people who are allergic to spring pollen-producing plants are also allergic to ragweed. Ragweed pollen can travel for hundreds of miles on the wind, so even if it doesn't grow where you live, it can still make you miserable if you're allergic to it.
Mold is another culprit, because its spores can easily get airborne. Mold thrives in damp areas, both indoors and outdoors. The piles of damp leaves that line yards and streets in the fall are breeding grounds for mold, as are damp basements and bathrooms at home.
Dust mites; microscopic, spider-like insects are yet another common indoor allergen. They are most prevalent during the humid summer months, but can get stirred into the air the first time you turn on your furnace in the fall. From the air, dust mites can make their way into your nose, triggering sneezes, wheezes, and runny noses.
- 1. Take a whole food based Vitamin C.
- 2. Magnesium eases breathing. Some immunologists suggest taking 400 milligrams of magnesium daily helps with nasal allergies and breathing problems. Taking more than that can cause diarrhea. If you want to supplement your diet with magnesium-rich foods, the best sources are nuts, beans, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, and bananas.
- 3. Drink a lot of cool water. Rehydrating is one of the best ways to eliminate toxins from your body. It cools you down and provides some symptom relief.
- 4. Get rid of clutter. Allergy sufferers need to be especially careful about controlling dust in their homes. Clutter is a major source of dust and dust mites.
- 5. Stay away from dairy. If you have hay fever, eating dairy will produce even more phlegm and make you feel worse.
- 6. Keep your clothes dryer vent clear. Build-up of lint in the dryer vent will cause an excess of dust in your house. Have your vents cleaned regularly to avoid aggravating your allergy symptoms.
- 7. Garden smart: Gardening on cool, cloudy days, or an hour after the rain, are your best bets because rain washes pollen out of the air. Pollen counts are at their highest in the early morning hours and on warm, dry, windy days.
- 8. Wash pets weekly to reduce dander.
- 9. Wash sheets, blankets, and comforters weekly in hot water to reduce dust mites.
- 10. Get tested for food allergies. Many people who have allergies are also sensitive to different foods. These multiple sensitivities build on each other and stress the immune system. Find out what foods you are sensitive to and either eliminate them from your diet or get treated for them so you can eat those foods symptom-free.