Autumny Allergy

The other day, I felt like I was experiencing seasonal allergies for the first time. I mentioned it to a friend who chuckled, thinking I was joking. She asked, "Allergies in the fall? Are there things even growing now?"

Oh yes. Yes there are.

Since then I have experienced my fair of sneezing and swollen passages, and what feels like an insatiable itch in my runny nose. In case you're like me and suspect that you've just developed fall allergies, here's what they could be caused by:

1. Ragweed (which can travel hundreds of miles by wind)
2. Mold Spores (which thrive in cold damp environments)
3. Dust Mites (which can get stirred up when you turn on your furnace)
4. Pollen (which plants can release from March until October)

Also, maybe you think you're getting something like the swine flu because you are feeling a bit stuffy these days. It may actually be allergies. The symptoms typically include:

1. Runny nose (check!)
2. Watery eyes
3. Sneezing (check!)
4. Coughing
5. Itchy eyes and nose (check check!)
6. Dark circles under the eyes (always check!)

If you're feeling bogged down by allergies this season, try these tips:

1. Take an OTC antihistamine or a decongestant.
2. Stay indoors during peak allergy hours (morning for pollen, afternoon for mold).
3. Use a humidifier in your home.
4. Get your ducts cleaned.
5. Use a HEPA filter in your furnace to trap airborne allergens.
6. Wear a dust mask when raking leaves or mowing the lawn.

Hope this helps! Good luck!

(thanks WebMD)

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