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Your Guide to Enjoying Fall While Avoiding Allergies

by Fatima Puri September 07, 2017

Who doesn’t love fall? According to one study, a lot of people; autumn is America’s favorite season. To make sure you enjoy every last bit of pumpkin spice consuming, leaf peeping, and hot apple cider guzzling, learn how to stave off common fall allergies that can dampen the mood. Wouldn’t want allergies ruining the fun of these few fleeting months of pure bliss, would ya?

Activity: Apple Picking, Hayrides, and Corn Mazes
Problem: Mold and Pollen Allergies

It’s a cool, crisp, sunny fall day. You go out to apple pick, wander your way through a corn maze, or enjoy a bumpy, jovial hayride to find yourself sneezing, rubbing red eyes, and blowing your nose. You’re probably suffering from mold and pollen allergies found on the farm. In fact, when exposed to hay and straw, you could be suffering something called “Farmer’s Lung,” which can have lasting effects on your allergy tolerance and overall health.

The best way to make your fall outing fun and not overtaken by allergies is to take an antihistamine beforehand. If your allergies are really bad, consider starting allergy shots. While allergy shots take months to make a noticeable difference, you’ll be ready to go by next fall.

If you don’t suffer sinus allergies, but get itchy rashes and hives when you come into contact with hay, straw, and corn stalks, then you should wear long sleeves and pants to reduce your exposure. This could be a sign of contact dermatitis, another kind of allergy. It’s just another excuse to break out that comfy flannel and pretty tall boots, right?

Activity: Playing in Leaf Piles and Raking Fallen Leaves
Problem: Mold Allergies

Any organic matter is a breeding ground for mold—especially decomposing leaves. While freshly fallen leaves may seem crisp and inviting, they’ll make you sneeze like crazy if you have mold and pollen allergies. If you don’t want to put the kibosh on this fun and necessary fall activity, wear a mask when raking leaves. You can also eat a spoonful of local raw honey per day as well or a number of natural pollen allergy remedies to build up your tolerance. Also like stated above, wear long sleeves and pants when raking leaves to keep allergens off of your skin. When you get in the house, pop your clothes in the washer right away!

Activity: Festivals and Fairs
Problem: Ragweed and Hay Fever Allergies

Hayfever kicks in around mid August and doesn’t subside until a nice hard freeze. That means hayfever will be around for all of your fall gallivanting. If you notice you’re sneezing, itchy, and suffering from a runny nose and other cold-like symptoms, you very well may have a hay fever allergy—along with 7.8 percent of American adults.

So how do you avoid hay fever? While out and about enjoying fall festivities, you’ll need to carry an inhaler with you for constricted airways and/or take a daily antihistamine. But while indoors, you can buy an air purifier to cut down on airborne contaminants that can irritate your sinuses.

Activity: Marathons, Walks, and Races
Problem: Cold Temperature Allergies

Some people are allergic to the cold. Seriously, it’s called cold urticaria and causes a rash and hive when the thermometer drops. If you have asthma, you may also notice constriction of your airways when it’s cold outside. If you’re going to be partaking in any outdoor activities like a Penguin Plunge, Thanksgiving 5K, or fall races and walks in cold temperatures, wear a breathable face mask, carry your inhaler, and wear warm clothes. Reducing exposure to the cold can help you avoid a cold allergy.

Activity: Bundling Up
Problem: Wool Clothes

This one is simple. If you get super itchy and develop a rash or hives when you wear wool products you most likely have a wool allergy. Good thing we live in a world where hypoallergenic materials exist! Wool allergies are actually a reaction to lanolin, a waxy secretion that goats and sheep produce, so you’ll want to try to avoid this warm and fuzzy fabric if at all possible. If you’re allergic to wool, try alpaca (which is lanolin-free), choose soft fleece or warm down, or stock up on hydrocortisone cream to treat an allergic reaction to your beloved woolens.

Activity: Back to School and Halloween
Problem: Food Allergies

About 1 out of 13 kids have a food allergy. If you’re nervous about sending your kid back to school this fall because he or she is one of the minority, don’t fret! You can send your child to school with an Epipen, educate your kids about foods to avoid, and tell teachers and classmates about the signs of an allergic reaction and foods your child is allergic to. That way, your child will be prepared if they eat something by accident.

When it’s time for Halloween—the culmination of fall aside from Thanksgiving—you can spread child food allergy awareness and keep other kids safe by taking part in the Teal Pumpkin Project, which promotes food safety for kids with allergies. This will allow you and your young ones to enjoy all the fun fall has to offer without incident.

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This fall, go wild enjoying the vibrant colors, cool temperatures, and plethora of the harvest. With these guidelines above, you’ll be able to take part in all your favorite fall activities without any problem.

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Fatima Puri
Fatima Puri

Fatima is a graduate of The University of Texas School of Journalism. She freelances for various lifestyle, health, and home design blogs. In her free time, Fatima enjoys discovering hole-in-the-wall restaurants with her coworkers.


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