Allergic Living’s Guide to Fall Allergies
What can you do?
• Keep windows closed to prevent pollen from getting indoors.
• If you are working outside, wear a face mask to filter allergens.
• Don’t hang laundry outside to dry – or you’ll end up wearing pollen.
• Vacuum frequently to reduce pollen caught in upholstery, carpets and curtains.
• Rake up leaves often and keep gutters clear.
• Move composters far from the house.
• Cut back trees and shrubs that impinge on the house – shady homes dry out more slowly, giving mold a chance to flourish.
• Clean up debris, including wood piles, grass clippings or building materials, which can harbour allergens.
• Run a dehumidifier in the basement – keep humidity levels below 50 per cent to avoid mold growth.
• Say goodbye to damp boxes of mementos and clothing.
• Remove any indoor mold around sinks and tubs promptly. Bleach is effective, but hazardous in its own right for those with irritant asthma or other breathing sensitivities. Try a safer mold remover, such as Concrobium Mold Control.
• Replace carpeting in basements, bathrooms and kitchens with hard surface flooring such as tile, linoleum or hardwood.
Visit the allergist if you are having increased symptoms: you may need to adjust your asthma or allergy management plan. Your doctor can test for allergies to individual pollens and molds and you could be a candidate for allergy shots. Immunotherapy has proven effective for many who suffer during fall’s allergen explosion.
Sources: Weeds of Canada and the Northern United States by France Royer and Richard Dickinson; American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology; Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America; American Lung Association; www.about.com/allergies
First published in Allergic Living magazine. (c) Copyright AGW Publishing Inc.
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