September 1st, 2017
September 1st, 2017
Autumn and Allergy
The leaves start to show off their warm colours and the lingering summer air cools; sure signs that the inevitability of autumn is here! As many people with allergies know, the shift in season also brings on increased allergic response and the stuffy nose, sneezing, itching and general malaise that accompanies the season for them.
Unfortunately, if you had an allergic response last fall, you will likely be exposed to the same allergens, such as ragweed and/or mould, and have a similar allergic response this year. Consult your family physician or allergist for a personalized preventative strategy, but here are some general suggestions on getting through the season.
While cleaning up the yard in autumn, be aware that many garden insects are prolific at this time of year and potential exposure may increase. Those with insect allergies should bundle up, covering arms, legs and wear garden gloves at least, while being more visually vigilant to avoid the insects known to cause allergic reactions. If anaphylaxis is possible, be sure to keep your Epi-Pen nearby.
For some, especially those who live near water, autumn is a peak breeding season for insects. Consider calling a pest control company specializing in insects to spray around your home and decrease populations before the warm weather re-arrives next spring. If concerned about chemical pesticide sprays, another option is to invest in a good “bug zapper” to deal with flying insects. There are many varieties of electric insect killers available for outdoor use, and for those who may be allergic to insect or rodent dander/excretions there are many electronic pest deterrents that can help keep them out of your home. It is during this time of year that many pests are more likely to move into your home as the weather cools.
Autumn’s weather change also brings natural vegetation growth and decay which can cause an increase in pollen and mould while stormier days spread these spores and pollens more easily. Allergic rhinitis or breathing difficulties will also likely increase and even the lingering humidity and summer heat in very early autumn may prolong rhinitis or hay fever. Fortunately, many eventually will find relief as the weather continues to cool.
Many people do a Spring Cleaning, but it is also advisable to do an Autumn Cleaning indoors to rid the home of dust, mites, and other environmental allergens that may have collected through open windows and doors during the summer. Wear non-allergenic gloves and face mask while cleaning, and follow any protocols given to you by your allergist or physician for preventing exposure to toxic environmental allergens. A deep cleaning may expose hidden entryways into the home for dust/pollen, insects and animal pests.
Lastly, discuss your specific needs with your family physician or allergist for treatment options for any allergies whether they occur during autumn or at other times of the year.
© Copyright 2017 Quantum Allergy Canada. All rights reserved.
(Created with resources from American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.)