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How to Naturally Manage Fall Allergies

How to Naturally Manage Fall Allergies

Summer is almost over and, in many areas of the country, the leaves will soon begin to turn. But that doesn’t mean you can put away your allergy medicine just yet.

More than 40 million Americans are plagued by seasonal allergies, or hay fever, a phenomenon associated with the blooming buds and plentiful pollen of spring and summertime.

Few are aware that seasonal allergies can be just as potent during the autumn months. Yet no matter when they strike, the symptoms are often the same: nasal congestion, watery eyes, runny nose and irritated sinuses.

Hay fever is mainly caused by the pollen spores of ragweed plants, which are found in large numbers in the Eastern and Midwestern areas of the country. Individuals who experience spring allergies often find their symptoms are triggered by ragweed as well. Another autumn allergy culprit: mold. Until temps dip into the freezing digits, mold spores maintain a prolific presence outdoors.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) releases an annual list of the top 100 cities plagued by problems with fall allergies. Coincidentally, the areas that ranked highest in 2012 included several popular mid-western metros:

1. Louisville, KY

2. Wichita, KS

3. Knoxville, TN

And the least troublesome cities for autumn allergies?

98. Stockton, CA

99. Portland, OR

100. Sacramento, CA.

The rankings were based not only on a region’s pollen prevalence, but also the ratio of allergy specialists to allergy suffers as well as the frequency of allergy medication usage in the area.

Handling hay fever

Depending on your individual triggers and overall sensitivity to dust and pollen, seasonal allergies can be bad, no matter where you live.

However, there are steps you can take to minimize hay fever’s effects on you and your family.

The crisp air (a welcome reprieve after the sweltering summer months) and the colorful foliage make fall an ideal time to be outside—just be sure to schedule your outdoor excursions for later on in the day. The early morning hours are when pollen is at its highest concentration in the air. Windy days often add to allergy woes, as they stir up additional pollen spores.

While there’s little you can do about mother-nature’s mucus-makers, the AAFA offers advice to help manage airborne irritants inside your home:

  • Vacuum regularly-once or twice per week should be enough to keep dirt and dust particles to a minimum
  • Dominate dust-preventing pile-ups of mail and other knick-knacks will make it easier to maintain dust-free tables and counter-tops
  • Filter the air-dehumidifiers, air conditioners, and high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters can help make the air in your home as irritant-free as possible.
  • Keep the pollen outside-crisp fall breezes might be a welcome change of pace after a sweltering summer, but it will also invite allergens into your home. You’re better off closing the doors and windows and putting your air-conditioner on re-circulate.

“Flu Fake-Out: Fall Allergies Annoy Americans in East, Mid-West” originally appeared on AgingCare.com.

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Read more: Allergies, General Health, Health, Nature, , ,

By Anne-Marie Botek, AgingCare.com Editor

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AgingCare.com

AgingCare.com connects family caregivers and provides support, resources, expert advice and senior housing options for people caring for their elderly parents. AgingCare.com is a trusted resource that visitors rely on every day to find inspiration, make informed decisions, and ease the stress of caregiving.

90 comments

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4:48AM PDT on Sep 18, 2013

Thanks for he information.

7:46PM PDT on Sep 12, 2013

You might want to try this very simple thing for some relief.
Put a cup of sterlized water with a teaspoon of sea salt on one of those cup warmers, and when ever you need some relief from the swelling sinuses, dip part of a clean wash cloth in it and inhale the water just up into your nostrels to flush out the nose hairs that trap the dust, spores, ect, then blow your nose. Repeat untill your nose feels refreshed. This is also helpful for dry winter air nose distress. Our sense of smell is probably our most finely tuned detection sense.If you allow yourself to become aware of some of the far away odors you'er actually capable of smelling, you'll be surprised.

7:04AM PDT on Sep 10, 2013

Thanks

2:07AM PDT on Sep 10, 2013

I never had allergies until I moved to central TX, but the cedar, etc, got me. I now suffer, though not as badly, now that i'm back in my native habitat. I don't treat them. I sneeze and move on.

10:47PM PDT on Sep 9, 2013

Thank you for sharing

9:53PM PDT on Sep 9, 2013

thanks for the information :)

4:48PM PDT on Sep 9, 2013

tyvm

1:50PM PDT on Sep 8, 2013

believe it or not ragweed is a remedy for allergies--you can use the flowering tops and leaves to make tincture or tea. Goldenrod which is abundant right now works great also as tea or tincture. Yarrow is another helpful herb. Tincture of yarrow and goldenrod has been very helpful for me and my husband. I love free medicine and food--these herbs are abundant and free for picking! Also it is important to lower your overall allergy load--many people find that eliminating most grains especially gluten and corn will help a lot--also non-fermented dairy and soy should be avoided (yogurt and miso with live cultures are helpful). Just my experiences here--always be cautious when trying anything new--try a tiny amount first and see how you react.

7:17AM PDT on Sep 8, 2013

Good article. I live in New Mexico, which is chock-full of allergens (juniper, cedar, mulberry, chamisa, pigweed, ragweed). Spring and fall are the worst times for pollen overload. Right now the chamisa is in full bloom, and I have been suffering for over a week. No allergy meds for me (hate the hangovers) so I stock up on tissues and wait it out. Thanks for the neti pot suggestion!

12:52AM PDT on Sep 8, 2013

Twice daily neti-pot cleansing is absolutely necessary for me. Unfortunately, I still occasionally have to use my prescription nasal spray, but try to avoid this, if possible.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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