Well if you suffer from fall allergies, you’ll be stuck inside while everyone else heads out for all the festivities. While I’m lucky enough to be a non-allergy sufferer, my poor husband Chet dreads this time of year. Before I knew more about his allergies, I always assumed that springtime was the worst time of the year for him, but boy was I wrong! Late summer and autumn are actually more problematic, as far as symptoms go, especially for those allergic to ragweed and mold. Ragweed pollen and mold are often heavily accumulated in damp leaf cover, and when those leaves are disturbed, sinus headaches, nasal congestion, asthma and itchy eyes are the result. All those symptoms may not seem like much, but every year, Chet and others like him are stuck at home, afraid to go out and have fun with their friends and family during this season. Last year, I thought I’d put a stop to this yearly cycle and find some ways for my allergy ridden husband to join in on the fall fun.
After searching around and talking with a good friend who happens to be an allergist, these are some of the things that worked best for Chet and had him ready for fall this year:
- Avoid fall lawn work if at all possible, especially during the early morning hours when pollen counts are high. This wasn’t especially hard for Chet…But if you do spend any length of time outdoors, remove and wash your clothes as soon as you get in the house, and shower before going to bed. This will prevent pollens and irritants from spreading throughout your home.
- Keep windows closed and use central air conditioning if you have it.
- Don’t hang laundry on an outdoor clothesline.
- Try over-the-counter medications first, and if they offer no relief, consult your doctor for next steps. The over the counter medications sometimes work for my hubby, but on days where we are going to be out for a long time, he usually takes something a bit stronger. Your general practitioner or allergist will be able to help you find what’s right for your specific allergies
- Consider investing in a central vacuum system to more effectively remove the allergic particles that do enter your home. Allergy sufferers often complain about the fact that traditional vacuum cleaners, even those equipped with good filters, tend to suck up only a portion of allergens and dust, then disburse the remaining particles into your indoor air, which just makes everything worse. We have a central vacuum system in our home and I can tell you right now, that Chet’s allergies were improved year round after we started using it! A central vacuum system operates by attaching a lightweight hose to special outlets in your walls, and a series of interconnected tubes carries dirt, particles, and even fine grains of pollen that you track in from outside, away from your living quarters and into a sealed container located in the garage, basement or storage closet. Our installation only took one day, so the benefits can be appreciated almost immediately.