Autumn. What a beautiful season it is! And allergies – what a pain they are for those of us affected by them! Unfortunately, allergens don’t go into hibernation with the changing of the seasons. Here are some of the agonies to watch out for during the coming months, plus tips on how to cope.
Many people regard spring as the prime pollen season, but one type of pollen reaches peak levels in late September: Ragweed. Ragweed is a flower that can cause allergic rhinitis, also called hay fever, which affects approximately 23 million in the US alone. About 75% of people who are allergic to spring plants also have reactions to ragweed and its fine-powder pollen. Even if it doesn’t grow on your home turf, it can travel for hundreds of miles on the wind.
- Monitor your local pollen count! Local newspapers and TV news websites often publish daily reports. Stay indoors as much as you can, especially during peak hours (usually mid-morning to early afternoon) and keep your doors and windows closed.
- When you do go outside, wear a mask to filter pollen.
- When driving, keep your windows completely closed, and when you return home, remove your shoes and jacket before going inside. You don’t want to bring any pollen that you’ve picked up outside into your home.
- Vacuum carpets and upholstery regularly, and wash your clothes, linens, and curtains regularly. After you’ve washed your clothes, avoid drying them on a line outdoors.
- Have pets? They may not agree with this, but you should bathe them frequently. Especially dogs and cats that spend time outdoors.
Mold is something you especially have to watch for in Autumn. It’s a fungi that often grows in damp areas in a house, such as basements or bathrooms. But your garden is also a great place for mold spores, as they thrive in piles of damp leaves and composts.
- Use a dehumidifier in the house, especially in the basement. Air should be between 35 and 50 percent humidity.
- Clean bathrooms and the kitchen regularly, preferably with a non-chemical solution such as vinegar.
- Rake your yard of fallen leaves and remove leaves from gutters. Keep compost and yard-waste piles as far away from the house as possible, and wear a protective mask when raking leaves and cleaning compost bins.
3. Dust mites
Dust mites look and act like something from a horror movie! They are microscopic arthropods that feed primarily on flakes of human skin that are shed around the home. Even if dust mites may be more common during the humid summer months, they often get stirred up into the air when you start up your indoor heating in the autumn.
- Before you turn the central heating on for the first time after summer, clean the air vents throughout the house. Allergens can get trapped in the vents and will fill the air as soon as you start the furnace.
- Dust mites love bedrooms… So, cover your mattress and pillows in dust-proof covers, and regularly wash all bedding in hot water.
- Dust and vacuum your home regularly. Be sure to wear a filtering mask while cleaning.
- Consider installing hardwood floors instead of wall-to-wall carpet.
Hopefully, the above measures will help you avoid allergy attacks. Using an air purifier in key areas of your house is also a good idea. Many allergy sufferers experience attacks in the middle of the night, as the human respiratory system relaxes during sleep. Things you can handle during the day will be more severe at night, which makes the bedroom a top choice for where to put your air purifier. If you keep it running in your bedroom 24 hours a day with the door closed, the bedroom will be the cleanest room in your house. This can help relieve symptoms in the daytime too.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to cope with allergies and how our air purifiers can help you, you might find our quick guides interesting: