This fall season is predicted to be more severe for dust and allergy sufferers. You may notice different allergy triggers than you experience in the spring and summer; but fall allergies can cause just as many uncomfortable symptoms.
What are the Causes for Fall Allergies?
Climate changes, and unusually warmer, late-season temperatures cause increased carbon dioxide concentrations to harvest the source of autumn's allergy culprits: Mold and Ragweed.
Why Does Mold Trigger Fall Allergies?
You may think of mold growing in humid, dark spaces like your crawlspace or basement, but mold spores also thrive in damp spots outside. Decaying plant matter, such as piles of damp leaves, provide ideal environments favorable to mold growth. Mold allergy symptoms (such as itchy eyes and stuffy noses) can be very similar to outdoor allergens we experience during spring.
How can Ragweed Cause Fall Allergies?
Ragweed is fall's leading allergy trigger. The blossoming yellow weed usually starts releasing pollen in August, but it can last as late as the end of October - especially when we experience higher late-season temperatures. Three-quarters of people who are allergic to spring plants are also allergic to ragweed.
The other reason for Ragweed's long stay and increased irritants is that it can travel hundreds of miles through fall's breezes; so even if your home's outdoor environment doesn't have Ragweed growth, you can still be susceptible to its nuisance. If you are allergic to ragweed, then even foods such as bananas, melons, zucchini, and certain vegetables can also trigger symptoms.
Don't forget: Dust mites are common during more humid summer months, but they can become airborne the first time you turn on your heat in the fall. Dust mites can trigger sneezes, wheezes, and runny noses.
How Can I manage Fall Allergies?
- Check pollen count in your area. When pollen is at its peak (usually in the mornings), stay indoors with the doors and windows closed.
- Before you turn on your heat for the first time, have a professional duct cleaning and change the filter. Bits of mold and other allergens can get trapped in the vents over the summer and will fill the air as soon as you start the furnace. (Plus, your system does not have to work as hard and less power is used - which cuts costs on your energy bills!)
- Use a HEPA filter in your heating system to remove pollen, mold, and other particles from the air.
- Use a humidifier if you need to, to keep your air at between 35% and 50% humidity.
- Wear a mask when you rake leaves so you don't breathe in mold spores.
More Info? Find out more about Mold Growth in Winter on the AdvantaClean Blog - Healthy Home and Business Tips!