It’s easy to understand why so many people say that Autumn is their favorite season. The air is cool and crisp and nature is full of glorious colors and scents. For those with seasonal allergies, however, Fall also brings ragweed, tree pollen and mold making it seem impossible to enjoy the outdoors.
While you might not be able to completely eliminate your allergy symptoms, there are ways to mitigate the effects so that you can be comfortable enough to enjoy your favorite outdoor activities.
1. Talk to your doctor now about medications that can help control your allergies. Many medications take a few days or weeks to work effectively. Even if you choose not to take medications, it’s a good idea to see your doctor regularly to make sure that you’re in general good health and not suffering from allergy-related complications.
2. In most areas, pollen counts peak from about 10am to 4 pm. The exact time pollen levels will peak in your area depends on your proximity to the pollen source. On warm, breezy days pollen is carried farther and faster than on cool, wet ones. Mold counts are more variable depending on the type of mold and weather conditions. You can keep up with local pollen counts by visiting National Allergy Bureau.
Keeping a journal of daily pollen and mold counts and your symptoms can help you determine which levels allow you to remain outdoors in comfort and when you should stay indoors.
3. Wrap around sunglasses or even goggles can help keep allergens out of your eyes and reduce discomfort. Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes. Consider carrying clean washcloth or two with you that you can wet to use as a cool eye compress if itchy, watery eyes become unbearable.
4. If you work out outdoors, the adrenaline your body produces can temporarily relieve allergy symptoms. Don’t overdo it, as your symptoms can come back with a vengeance an hour or two after you stop exercising. If you’re just starting a fitness routine, it’s best to begin your workouts indoors to condition your body before you add allergens to the mix.
5. Reduce your exposure to allergens by making it a habit to take off your shoes when you enter your house. If your pets go outdoors with you, wipe down their fur and feet with a wet wipe or cloth to remove as much of the pollen and mold spores as possible. Shower and rinse/wash your hair soon after you get home. Put on clean clothes and keep the dirty ones in a hamper away from your bedroom.
6. Lawn and garden work is deeply satisfying to many people, but it can also stir up mold and pollen. Wear a dust-filter style mask and goggles when raking, mowing the lawn, weeding or doing other yard work. It might look silly, but it’s much better than feeling miserable. If your allergies are severe or you have asthma, it is probably wisest to let somebody else handle these chores and be content to enjoy looking at the results.