Summer has a way of slipping by, and suddenly, we’re already talking about going back to work. Autumn is truly a beautiful season, and it’s the start of another year of activity and progress. It does, however, come with its own set of medical concerns. Allergies are a great example. We normally think of spring as the time when allergies hit hardest, but for a lot of people, allergic reactions can be just as common during the autumn months.
What allergies are we talking about, specifically?
This is probably the single most common cause of allergic reactions during the autumn months. Ragweed begins to release its pollen in August and September, when the days are still warm but the nights are getting cooler. The pollen is typically active through October, and the majority of people who suffer springtime allergies will also have a reaction to Ragweed.
Another common allergic reaction in the fall is to dust mites. Often times, these allergens will be stirred up and released into the home when the heating system is turned on after a long dormant summer. Schools and office buildings can also have dust mite problems in the fall, and the classic allergic reactions (sneezing, running nose, water eyes) can result.
There is definitely a heightened chance for indoor mold growth as the nights become cooler and basements/attics grow humid; but inside the home is not the only place where mold exposure is a risk. The wet ground, especially in places of perpetual shade (and buried in piles of wet, fallen leaves), can expose you to mold spores that trigger allergic reactions.
How to steer clear of fall allergies
Finding information on pollen levels in your area can help you manage allergies by knowing when and where you might be subject to higher exposure. The National Allergy Bureau is something a lot of people don’t even know about, but it exists, and gives updated information on pollen levels in every state.
Ultimately, small practical steps will make the most difference in preventing allergic reactions. Being aware of the possibility of pollen on your clothing or shoes (based on your daily activities) will make a big difference. Controlling the humidity inside your home is also important. Allergic reactions are worse and more likely in humid conditions, so a dehumidifier is one way to reduce the number of allergens in your home’s air supply. Air conditions also works like this, and air conditioned environments are generally more protected against pollens.
Also be aware of any plants or sources of pollen on your property. You might consider removing them, or being more aware of the pollen coming from these sources. Long sleeved clothing on hikes through the woods is often the best idea, as it protects the skin from allergic reactions of all kinds.
Urgent care for more information
Whenever there’s a medical situation that is not potentially life threatening (allergies are usually mild, although severe reactions can occur in rare cases), urgent care is a good choice for a fast and professional treatment.