Itchy eyes? Sneezing? Runny nose? Hives? These symptoms indicate you may be sensitive to common fall allergens: ragweed, mold and dust mites.
Ragweed blooms between August and November. During that time, each plant releases around 1 billion grains of pollen, with pollen release peaking in the middle of September. Pollen levels are usually highest on warm, windy days between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
You can help prevent exposure to ragweed pollen and allergic reactions by staying indoors during peak times and keeping doors and windows closed. Frequent hand washing, wearing a dust mask when you are outdoors, and leaving pollen-covered clothes and shoes outside can help limit ragweed pollen exposure.
An allergist can diagnose exactly what’s triggering your response and develop a plan to address symptoms.
A thorough evaluation may include skin and blood tests.
Some mild cases may be handled by taking over-the-counter allergy medications. For more severe symptoms, allergists could recommend stronger medications or a series of allergy shots administered over several months to help the body develop a natural tolerance to allergen triggers.
Keep Your Home Allergen-Free
Removing dust, pollen and other substances from your home can help keep your family symptom-free, at least while they are indoors.
Dust mites, the most common indoor allergy trigger, thrive in soft surfaces like carpet, couches, drapes and bedding. To banish dust mites and pet dander, vacuum often and regularly wash bedding and pet beds.
Minimize dust-gathering clutter and clean at least weekly with a damp cloth. Keeping your home tidy and moisture free may help prevent mold and allergen build-up. Choose mild, natural cleansers, because harsh chemicals can also trigger allergic reactions.
If allergy symptoms persist, the professionals at North Shore-LIJ can help. To find a physician, visit find-a-doctor.NorthShoreLIJ.com.