Labor Day has come and gone, the calendar has flipped from August to September, and, yes, it’s officially fall allergy season.
That means allergy sufferers need to prepare for the top three autumn culprits: Ragweed, mold, and dust mites. The Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America estimates up to 20 percent of Americans suffer from ragweed allergy symptoms. Mold spores thrive during the fall, especially outside among fallen, wet leaves. Dust mites get stirred up when you turn on your heat for the first time in the fall.
Here’s a closer look at these fall triggers, with tips to ease your allergy symptoms.
The plant starts releasing pollen in mid-August and continues until the first frost. It’s impossible to completely avoid the allergen, as each plant can make up to 1 billion pollen grains per season. To minimize exposure, pay attention to pollen levels (here is a long range fall allergy forecast from AccuWeather.com) and limit time outdoors when counts are high. Wash your hands often, shower before bed, and keep windows closed whenever possible. Using a nasal rinse – like Alkalol Nasal Wash – helps with symptoms, as do allergy shots.
It doesn’t just grow in your humid bathroom or basement. Mold can be found on rotting logs, fallen leaves, compost piles, plants, and soil. Outdoor mold spores peak in July in warmer states and October in cooler northern regions. They can be found year-round in the South and on the West Coast. Wear a dust mask when you’re mowing the lawn, digging around plants, or picking up leaves. Keep away from uncut fields if possible, and stay inside when mold air levels are high.
They’re tiny little bugs that commonly live in house dust, and their populations tend to peak in August. Allergen levels can stay high through December. Even the cleanest homes have dust, but encasing your mattress and pillows in allergen-blocking covers helps reduce symptoms. Also try washing bedding weekly in hot water, keeping humidity levels low in your home, vacuuming regularly, and, if possible, installing a high efficiency media filter with a MERV rating of 11 or 12 in the furnace and air-conditioning unit to keep the air clean year-round.
Alkalol Nasal Wash is the only saline rinse formulated with natural extracts and essential oils for an invigorating clean. Alkalol provides natural relief from nasal congestion caused by sinusitis and allergies. Alkalol is available at Walgreens, CVS, and other fine drugstores and supermarkets.