Don’t Let Fall Allergies Get in the Way of Enjoying the Outdoors This Season
As the fall months approach, many of us get excited about heading outdoors to enjoy the weather and the many adventures that await. Whether you enjoy a great hike or you love to bring your kids to the park, there is a lot to do and many benefits of physical activities in the great outdoors. However, those with allergies can often miss out on the fun.
If you have seasonal allergies, then you likely opt out of outdoor activities so you can stay inside and wait until the season changes, but that doesn’t need to be the case. By identifying potential dangers in your area, taking medication, and changing your routines, you can keep your allergies at bay and enjoy the glory of autumn.
If you believe you have allergies but are unsure of what you may be allergic to, then a good first step is to visit an allergist and get tested. This way, you can know what to avoid when you are out and about. Some typical allergy symptoms are indicative of other underlying conditions and can make diagnosing allergies on your own a bit complicated. For example, seasonal allergies and dry eye are often mistaken for one another. You may think that you have an allergy when your eyes get red and randomly tear up, but this could just be a side effect of dry eye. It is good to be sure so you can decide on the appropriate treatment.
In the case that you do have allergies, your next step is to figure out the culprit. In many cases, it is ragweed. This plant is very common in many places, and it releases a lot of pollen grains that can travel a long distance. If ragweed or something similar is your issue, then you can determine the best times to go outside by using an allergy forecast app that you can find online that will tell you the pollen counts and allergen forecasts in your area.
Of course, you can also turn to medication to quell the side effects. There are over-the-counter pills you can try, such as antihistamines. Talk to your allergist about the best prescriptions that you can use, and be sure to follow the instructions to the letter and take the correct dosage at the correct intervals. If you plan to spend a long weekend outdoors, then bring the medication with you so you can avoid a strong allergy attack.
While there is only so much that you can do to prevent allergies outside, you should be proactive to try and keep pollen out of your home so you aren’t miserable 24 hours a day. After spending time outdoors, make it a habit to wash your clothes so you don’t spread pollen to your bedroom, bathroom, and the places where you spend the most time. This way, at least you won’t feel continuously sick.
You should also strategically plan how often you go outside. There is so much fun to be had out there, and you need to enjoy it. However, don’t overdo it. If your allergies are flaring up, then stay indoors. If you have chores that you do outside, then wait until the pollen count drops off or hire a service to take care of those errands for you.
Finally, while many of us enjoy the cooler temps and like to feel a breeze around the house, it is a wise idea to keep your windows closed whenever possible. It only takes a moment for countless pieces of pollen to make their way indoors, and you don’t need the additional stress.
When it gets even colder outside, you may have the temptation to raise the heat in the home to fight off a chill, but you must use caution. High heat can lead to dry and itchy skin, which can make the effects of your allergies feel even worse. Control the temperature in your home by installing a smart thermostat that will prevent the heat from getting out of control. You should also maintain your HVAC units so your heater works more efficiently and lasts throughout the fall and winter. Not to mention, changing out the filter and cleaning the ducts can reduce allergens being pumped into the air when the heat does kick on.
To be clear, you can still go outside to hike, walk, and ride your bike. You may just need to be adequately prepared. Even medication is not 100% effective, so you may need to take some extra precautions.
Consider what you wear outside. It is a wise idea to wear a hat and sunglasses, especially those that wrap around your face, when you are on your outdoor adventures. Both accessories will keep the pollen out of your hair and eyes. Make sure that you avoid wiping your eyes or face at all costs and wash your hands as soon as you return home.
If you bring your pet along on your walks, then you will want to ensure that they are pollen-free, as well, or they may unwittingly bring your allergy issues indoors. Before you go back inside, wipe your pet’s fur with a damp cloth to remove the pollen that can cause you aggravation in the long run.
As you can see, it is still possible to enjoy the outdoors this fall, even if you have allergies. Consider these tips, and you can have an enjoyable autumn.