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Allergy Tips for Every Season

Don't Let Symptoms Prevent You from Enjoying the Weather

-- By Leanne Beattie, Health & Fitness Writer
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Fall Allergy Tips
Fall allergies are usually caused by weeds that pollinate in the late summer and early fall. Depending on your location, you could be affected by ragweed, sagebrush and tumbleweed in the fall, as well as some trees that pollinate in cooler weather. Molds thrive in damp piles of rotting leaves, making the fall a prime time for anyone with a mold allergy.

If you have fall allergies, here are some ways to cope:
  • Avoid yard work, such as gardening and raking. This stirs up pollens and mold spores, making an allergic reaction more likely.
  • Have a professional service clean out your gutters if they are full of wet, moldy leaves.
  • Don’t over-water your houseplants as wet soil encourages mold growth.
  • Remove any visibly moldy carpet or belongings and wash any moldy areas (such as the bathroom) with a solution of one part bleach to 20 parts water.
  • If you suffer from fall pollen allergies, see the Summer Allergy Tips (above).
Winter Allergy Tips
Winter allergies are associated with sensitivities to mold and dust mites. Because people tend to spend most of their time indoors during the winter, they are exposed to these allergens around the clock.

If you suffer from winter allergies, these tips will help:
  • If you have a wood-burning fireplace, store your wood outside. Only burn logs that appear to be free of mold.
  • Keep fresh-cut trees and greens (such as Christmas trees or wreaths) outside for a few days to help reduce the amount of mold they bring into the house. Even if you use artificial trees or wreaths, they can still become moldy and dusty over the years, so clean them outside before decorating.
  • Clean all holiday decorations before putting them out for display, as they may have collected mold and dust during storage. Do this outside to prevent the spread of allergens throughout your house.
  • Wash fabric decorations in hot, soapy water before putting them on display. Protect your nose and mouth with a paper mask while washing the items, if necessary.
  • Consider purchasing an air filtration system with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter to reduce the amount of dust and dust mites in your home.
  • Use a vacuum with a multi-layered filter bag and clean often to remove allergens from your carpet.
  • Remove as much carpet from your home as possible since carpet holds and traps dust and allergens. Replace carpet with smooth-surface floors (wood, tile, laminate, etc.), which are easier to clean, to reduce exposure even more.
  • Cover your mattress, box spring and pillows with zippered cases to reduce your exposure to dust mites. Wash your blankets at least every two weeks in hot water (set your water heater to 130 degrees) to kill the mites already in your bedding.
If you suffer from allergies, it's important to talk to your doctor. Lifestyle changes and other tips can only help so much, but your doctor can help you develop a treatment plan that works for you. Don't let allergies stop you from enjoying the best of every season!
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About The Author

Leanne Beattie Leanne Beattie
A freelance writer, marketing consultant and life coach, Leanne often writes about health and nutrition. See all of Leanne's articles.

Member Comments

  • Here I always wondered how I could be allergic to my Christmas ornaments. Mystery solved. I quite decorating a few years ago and began going on fancy vacations over the holidays. The memories are easier to keep than another set of presents I don't really need! - 6/30/2014 6:34:38 PM
  • Perfect timing for this article. With my son and I going to GA in two weeks, my concern is the different temperatures as well as pollen.
    Although I lived there for more than 15 years, I have been here in CA for almost 6 years. - 3/3/2014 9:07:04 AM
  • Great article. Thanks for the tips. - 6/17/2013 12:02:02 PM
  • Great article. Thanks for the tips. - 6/17/2013 12:01:47 PM
  • Thank you for the helpful article! There are points I can use right away to help me. - 6/17/2013 9:52:58 AM
  • MOOSHKA19
    While cycling in the spring I have some pretty strong allergy symptoms - so as soon as I come home I change out of cycling clothes in the basement and shower immediately. I also use a netti pot and eye wash. Seems to help as much as allergy pills without the adverse reactions. - 6/17/2013 7:27:58 AM
  • HJAMES1623
    Thanks for this article! My son has some pretty severe allergies and last spring we had to take him to a place for allergy specialty care in Orlando. They were really great to work with and even though it was scary they were very kind and calming while my son was having a reaction. Thanks for the tips! http://www.allerg
    ycfl.com/ - 2/21/2013 12:59:48 PM
  • Thanks for this article.Very well written and useful . - 10/7/2011 10:42:01 AM
  • I've been having really bad allergies this year, so I really appreciate this information. I was actually sneezing while I was reading this! LOL! Hopefully my allergies will get better soooooon!!! - 10/7/2011 7:38:35 AM
  • Thanks for all of the great suggestions! - 3/13/2010 10:22:40 PM
  • Very good article! I love the fact that they have separated the symptoms by season. I am definitely saving this one and I am going to read it again and again. - 10/31/2009 6:14:05 AM
  • I found that for my recently-acquired summer allergies (have had them for the last few years), eating local honey really helps. I once read it in a natural health book; then went to a local honey farm and made sure that the bees collected pollen from local vegetation. I bought some honey and had a couple tea spoons in my tea (and sometimes plain, because I love it churned). In about a week, my allergies had completely disappeared. I couldn't even fly a kite in a field before because I would just swell up and sneeze all over. I haven't had an allergic reaction to pollen ever since. - 3/25/2009 4:20:55 PM
  • GIANT-STEPS
    Wow, some suggestions I never thought of.

    Anyway, Ihave to second NYKATHY's advice for usig a Neti Pot. It was a *HUGE* help for me. Rinsing allergins out of my sinuses on a daily basis really reduced my allergy symptoms. I found salt water to work far more than nasal steroids for keeping my sinuses clear and free of infections. Our OB/GYN said that antibiotics work poorly for sinus infections because there is very little blood flow to them. He usually isn't supportive of alternative medicine but this is one thing he recomends. - 12/7/2008 1:46:39 PM
  • I love this article! I suffer from allergies all year round and this article is definitely on my "save and use" list. - 9/23/2008 7:17:40 PM
  • Great Article!! I have a couple of other things that I do to pass along. I use a Neti Pot every day and no more post nasal drip or sinus problems. Also, living in NY during the winter when the house is closed up for months. Once a month I will open up a window in each room for 15 to 20 minutes to change the air quality. I usually do this in the afternoon when the sun is out and it's warmer for the winter at least. I turn my heat off for that time so it doesn't run. I am healthier during the winters since I started doing this. - 8/1/2008 7:09:47 AM