When you think fall, you may think of pumpkin spice lattes and comforting soups, but for many of us, seasonal allergies come to mind. If you find yourself sneezing more than usual, there are several possible causes.
Ragweed could be to blame, as it’s the biggest allergy trigger in the fall allergy season. Ragweed is a yellow flower that can cause allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever. Ragweed begins to release pollen in August and continues well into September and October. Ragweed allergy symptoms affect approximately 23 million people in the US alone. About 75% of people who are allergic to spring plants also have reactions to ragweed and its fine-powder pollen. Ragweed doesn’t even have to grow on your home turf – its pollen can travel for hundreds of miles on the wind.
To reduce ragweed allergy symptoms
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.
Shower before bed, and wash sheets in hot water to remove allergens brought indoors on your hair in clothes.
Another fall allergy trigger is mold. Molds are fungi that often grow in damp areas in a house, such as basements or bathrooms. Outdoor mold spores thrive in damp outdoor places like piles of wet leaves.
To reduce mold allergy symptoms
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.
Wear a mask when you rake leaves so you don't breathe in mold spores - Clean heating vents and change your furnace filter before turning your heat on for the first time
If you’re sneezing and wheezing, with a runny nose, you may be affected by dust mites. Dust mites are microscopic arthropods that feed primarily on flakes of human skin that are shed around the home. Dust mites are most active during humid summer months, yet fall is when they tend to cozy up in heating systems, re-entering your indoor air when you first turn on the heat in the fall. Often children are affected when they start the new school year since mold and dust mites are common in schools. The best natural remedies center on preventing exposure to the critters.
To reduce dust mite allergy symptoms
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! 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 replacing wall-to-wall carpet with hardwood floors.
Air purifier for fall allergies
Natural remedies can help prevent or relieve allergy attacks, but to treat fall allergies, we also recommend investing in an air purifier for your bedroom, because many allergy sufferers experience attacks in the middle of the night. At night, the human respiratory system relaxes during sleep, so things you can handle during the day become more challenging. If you keep an air purifier running in your bedroom 24 hours a day with the door closed, the bedroom will have the purest air in your house. This can help relieve allergy symptoms in the daytime too. And a Blueair air purifier works so quietly that you can not only sleep next to it, you might even have to check to make sure it is switched on.
Blueair air purifiers meet U.S. and European HEPA standards for air purification. Our HEPASilent™ technology delivers especially high performance and efficiency by combining electrostatic and mechanical filtration technologies. This combination, pioneered by Blueair, delivers high Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) with whisper-silent operation and high energy efficiency. And on its lowest setting, a Blueair air purifier uses less electricity than a small lightbulb, while still achieving a 99.7% filtration efficiency of airborne particles down to 0.1 micron in size.
When you are already dealing with chronic sensitivity to things like pollen, mold and other airborne allergens, you are more susceptible to rapid changes in temperature and moisture, and to catching a common cold or flu. Our Blueair purifiers will help with that, too, since they remove viruses and bacteria in addition to dust, pollen, mold spores, pet dander and smoke.
No other air purifiers deliver such high performance on so many parameters, all at the same time. Just be sure to choose an air purifier that is designed for your room size. If you have severe allergies, it can be helpful to choose an air purifier that is intended for a larger room size.