Top tips for tackling fall allergies this pumpkin season
Fall brings a wide variety of seasonal joys -- from afternoons spent pumpkin picking to cozy nights spent next to a warm fire with a pumpkin spice latte and the aroma of a pumpkin spice candle filling the room. Too much pumpkin spice? Never.
Unfortunately, this pumpkin spice season also brings allergies for many people across the country. Even though most people associate allergy season with spring, autumn brings outdoor mold blooms under fallen leaves, while plants like ragweed release pollen into the air. With the following strategies, you can mitigate the discomfort of fall allergies and stay cozy in the comfort of fall sweaters and pumpkin spice everything.
When the chillier temperatures of fall corral more people inside their home, they're exposed to an increased level of indoor allergens. Mold is a primary culprit among these allergens. You'll often find mold anywhere there is water. Inside a home, these spots are typically in the corners of your basement, on the ceilings of the bathroom, and around any leaky faucets or sinks. Mold also loves to grow under the piles of dead leaves that accumulate in your backyard. If you have pets that like to romp around in the leaves, it's common for these allergens to make their way indoors.
The key to mitigating mold is controlling the moisture levels in all of these locations. Remember to switch on the fan in your bathroom when using the shower and stay on top of cleaning up standing water. If you can see mold on any surfaces in your home, scrub it with detergent and water and make sure it dries completely. To better control the humidity levels in your home, invest in a dehumidifier. Outdoors, keep up with a regular raking schedule so that mold doesn't have a comfortable place to grow in your yard.
Protect yourself from pollen
Did you know ragweed is among the most popular fall allergies? The best strategy is to minimize the amount of pollen that gets into your home as much as possible. When you come in from spending time outdoors, leave your shoes at the door and take a quick shower to wash the allergens out of your hair and skin. Be sure to change your clothes and throw the ones you were wearing into the laundry to avoid extended contact with the allergens. If possible, have a set of clothes right inside the front doorway so you can change and completely avoid bringing pollen into your home.
While you may want to catch the lovely fall breeze, it's probably best to keep the windows in your home and car closed during this time of year. Using your air conditioner can help keep your home cool while also filtering out any harmful allergens in your home's airflow. If you want to keep the windows open, try monitoring the pollen and mold counts each day to know when you're most likely to face high allergen levels.
Manage symptoms for relief
If you can't find allergy relief from these strategies, MultiCare Indigo Urgent Care can help you control mild to moderate allergy symptoms, often by prescribing antihistamines. Open seven days a week, you can stop in any time to get help with the right medications and methods to control your allergy symptoms.
If you are having any of the following symptoms, it’s probably best if you visit your nearest emergency department:
- Difficulty or irregular breathing
- Severe coughing, wheezing, itchy throat or mouth
- Severe hives, itchiness, red bumps on skin, skin redness
- Lowered blood pressure, rapid pulse, heart palpitations or dilated blood vessels
- Nausea, vomiting, chest discomfort or tightness, abdominal pain and diarrhea
- Dizziness, lightheadedness, mental confusion, loss of consciousness, weakness and fainting
Don't let allergies ruin your fall. If you suffer from autumn allergies every year, take action now to prevent your symptoms from limiting your pumpkin spice fun. Use some of the strategies above, or head to an urgent care near you to get your allergies under control.