Sneezing, sniffling and watery eyes... people often associate allergies with spring and summer, when the pollen count is way up, but there are actually many common allergies during this fall season that can be just as irritating.

Near the end of August and up until around Thanksgiving, ragweed releases pollen throughout the United States. If you experience allergic reactions to tree pollen, it’s very likely that you will have a similar reaction to ragweed. For some people who are allergic to ragweed, certain fruits and vegetables, including bananas, melon, and zucchini, can also cause symptoms.

Another common trigger of fall allergies is mold.You may think of mold growing in your damp areas of your house such as the basement or bathroom, but mold spores also love wet spots outside. Piles of damp leaves are ideal breeding grounds for mold.

Don’t forget dust mites. While they’re common during the humid summer months, they can get stirred into the air the first time you turn on your heat in the fall. Dust mites can trigger sneezes, wheezes, and a runny nose.

If your allergies get really unbearable, see an allergist who can  do a series of test to determine what is causing your discomfort and recommend treatment options.  In the meantime, check out these five tips on how to combat fall allergies.

  • 1

    Stay Indoors When Pollen is High

    Stay indoors with the doors and windows closed when pollen is at its peak (usually in the late morning or midday). Check pollen counts in your area. Your local weather report will usually include them.

  • 2

    Clean Your Heating Vents

    Before you turn on your heat for the first time, clean your heating vents and change the filter. Bits of mold and other allergens can get trapped in the vents over the summer and will fill the air as soon as you start the furnace.

  • 3

    Use a HEPA Filter

    Use a HEPA filter in your heating system to remove pollen, mold, and other particles from the air.

  • 4

    Use A Dehumidifier

    If you don't already have one, get a dehumidifier which can help keep your air at between 35% and 50% humidity.

  • 5

    Wear A Mask When Raking or Mowing

    Wear a mask when you raking leaves or mowing your yard so you don't breathe in mold spores.

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