3 Ways to Combat Fall Allergies
Autumn means crisp air, pumpkin picking, apple cider and a host of other nostalgic elements. With the changing weather and beautiful fall foliage, however, comes sneezing, watery eyes and other unpleasant symptoms for those with allergies to ragweed and mold.
That doesn't mean you should have to suffer, though. It's helpful to check pollen counts for your area, keep windows closed and shower after you spend time outside, but there are many other strategies that can also aid in keeping your allergies under control.
Whether you're allergic to mold, ragweed or both, here are three helpful tactics to take into account for a pleasant fall season.
Protect Your Bedroom
Considering the fact that most people spend at least seven to eight hours in their boudoirs, it's crucial to keep this space as free of allergens as possible. If you have any furry friends in your home, make this room a pet-free zone, especially if you're allergic to dander. One of the most common breeding grounds for dust mites is your bed, so you should also encase your mattress, box springs and pillows in allergen-proof fabric covers. Always wash your bedding on a hot water cycle to kill off microscopic insects. For extra relief, plug in an air purifier. A HEPA Type air purifier can trap up to 99 percent of airborne particles as small as 2 microns, including pollen, dust, mold and pet dander particles.
Change Your Filters
Now is the time to change your air conditioner and furnace filters. Not only will you slash your bills as the heating and cooling systems will run more efficiently, but you'll also cut down on the amount of ragweed pollen that enters your home.
Dr. David Lang, director of the Department of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, told the Cleveland Clinic that a HEPA air filter can be helpful for reducing levels of pet dander in the air as well.
According to Dr. Frederick M. Schaffer, clinical associate professor of allergy and immunology at the Medical University of South Carolina, it's best to change your filters on a monthly basis. He explained to Everyday Health that placing the old filter in a plastic garbage bag and disposing of it outdoors is the best way to prevent a pollen spill inside your house.
Did you know that certain foods can actually trigger your allergy symptoms as well as air particulates? Rodale News explained that foods like apples, bananas, melons, honey, cucumber, zucchini and nuts should be avoided or cooked first to neutralize the proteins your body mistakes as ragweed allergens.
On the other hand, there are certain foods that may actually alleviate symptoms. For example, Rodale reported that broccoli and cauliflower are part of the cruciferous family of plants, which are known to help clear out blocked sinuses. They're also chock full of vitamin C, which has been shown to ease allergy symptoms. Kale and pumpkin are packed with allergy-fighting carotenoids, a powerful form of vitamin A that plays a key role in keeping asthma and allergy problems at bay. Meanwhile, onions and garlic have high concentrations of quercetin, a flavonoid that can quell inflammation.