Living in the U.S. Midwest and Northeast during the fall is beautiful, but it can also be a tough time for those with seasonal allergies. If you have found yourself itching your nose, sneezing, or experiencing watery eyes, you might have a seasonal allergy. Even for those who have never experienced an allergy before, they can spring up if the circumstances are just right.
There are many allergens that can cause trouble this time of year. For those of us who love to exercise outdoors, it’s important to know what is triggering an allergy so you can minimize exposure. Less exposure can really help reduce the annoying symptoms that come along with a seasonal allergy. It’s best to talk with a health care provider to try to determine what the cause may be. In the meantime, try some of these simple things that could help reduce symptoms:
- Monitor pollen or mold counts. There are websites and apps that can be really helpful with this. If you know the count is going to be high, try to avoid being outdoors if possible.
- Pollen and mold counts can surge after rainfall. Wind can also stir up pollen and mold so watch the weather.
- Keep your home closed up when counts are high.
- If you are outside, shower and wash your hair as soon as possible to rinse allergen off. Make sure to change and wash your clothes too.
- Consider using a mask or filter if you have to do yard work.
- Use a shower or steam to help with congestion.
- Talk to your doctor about a referral to get an allergy test in order to determine if there are other steps that you can take to help manage symptoms if they are impacting your quality of life.
- If seasonal allergies can really make you miserable this time of year, perhaps it’s an opportunity to develop a 6-8 week exercise plan that focuses on a new or different indoor activity you haven’t tried before. Once the frost kills off the allergens, you can return to the outdoor activities you love!