The turning of the season is always a delight, and after spending the summer months at the mercy of the hot sun, the crisp, cool days of autumn may be a relief. Yet the change in the season also means that a new cycle of plants are starting to release their pollen, causing many people to get stuffy noses, itchy eyes, and other allergic reactions. Ragweed is the main culprit for fall allergies, though other plants that bloom at this time of year can contribute to allergic reactions. Mold also starts to become more of a problem during the fall as rainy weather and piles of fallen leaves can create the perfect damp and dark environment that it needs to thrive.
While these allergens are in high concentration during this time of year, there are many things you can do to reduce your exposure to them. Dispose of that pile of freshly raked leaves promptly, and control your temptation to jump in, no matter how fun it might be. Wearing a face mask while you rake or do other yard work may also help to filter out any pollen or mold floating in the air. Keeping track of pollen counts is always a good idea no matter the season, and you can also help to reduce ragweed pollen around your home by carefully checking your garden and removing weeds wherever you find them. When you’re finally relaxing inside with a hot cup of cider, make sure that you are breathing clean air by making the indoor environment inhospitable for mold growth. Keep humidity levels below 50%, and use an air purifier like our MinusA2 with the Germ Defense Customized Filter to trap any airborne mold inside your home.
The spring brings beautiful things – warmer weather, bright blue skies, and blooming flowers. Unfortunately, it is also the prime time of year for seasonal allergies, and the sneezing, itching, and congestion that accompanies them. Seasonal allergic rhinitis, more commonly known as Hay Fever, occurs throughout the year whenever grasses, trees, or weeds are in bloom, but are at their worst during the Spring and Summer. Unlike flowers, which usually produce heavier pollen to be carried by bees, these plants produce lighter pollens that spread by floating through the air. It is a great strategy for the plants but not as nice for us as these pollens can trigger allergic reactions when we breathe them in. As many as 40 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies – that’s a lot of runny noses!
Luckily, there are several different strategies for coping with this kind of allergy. Many people take over the counter anti-histamines to relieve their symptoms, and there are even some prescription medications that can help if the allergy is severe. In addition to these medicines, allergists recommend changing clothes when you come home or even taking a shower in case pollens have snuck in on your clothing or skin. Once at home, you can use an air purifier with a HEPA filter, such as our MinusA2, to clean the air and keep pollen at bay. If you want to enjoy the beauty of the spring while staying smart about pollen, you may want to keep aware of daily pollen counts by using an app for your Smartphone or going to a website with an allergy specific weather forecast. Pollen counts tend to be highest in the morning, so you may find yourself breathing better if you save your springtime outings for the evening.