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Preparing for Fall Allergies Before They Attack

Timothy Joyce, RN, CNP, Urgent Care, ACMC-Redwood Falls

Days are getting shorter and the leaves are beginning to change. Fall is right around the corner and, for many people, so are seasonal allergies. If you are plagued by itchy/watery eyes, a runny nose and sneezing you've come to dread this time of year. Fall allergies are often caused by ragweed and molds that become airborne. As they travel through the air they are inhaled and for those with sensitivity cause allergic reactions. Instead of waiting for the first frost, learn how you can help prevent allergy attacks.

  • Cover up!
    Make sure to cover your mouth when you are outdoors early in the morning and on windy days. This can be done with a facemask, bandana or other breathable material.
    Both ragweed and mold are very light so they travel quickly through the air and are easily inhaled. It is also helpful to wear a mask when doing yard work, especially raking.
  • Close up!
    As much as you love the fresh air, allergy suffers should keep it out of their homes. Keep your windows closed and use an air conditioner to cool your house. Also, make sure to clean your air conditioner's filter so ragweed doesn't find its way in.
  • Clean up!
    Remove all decaying leaves from your yard as soon as possible. When dead leaves become wet it creates the ideal breeding ground for mold. If you plan on saving leaves for mulch, be sure to cover the pile so mold cannot be released.
  • Check up!
    Outside of the normal allergy symptoms, sufferers can experience issues with decreases in sleep, concentration and productivity. If you struggle through fall allergies, make sure to visit your doctor to find methods of easing your symptoms.