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Healthy Living: Fall Allergies

When the leaves begin to change colors we all rejoice! The hot summer months are over and fall is finally here.

But if you’re one of the people whose seasonal allergies kick into high gear in the fall, this time of year isn’t quite so carefree. It’s hard to feel excited about cooler weather when you’re dealing with a runny nose, sneezing bouts, and itchy, watery eyes.

We often assume that allergies strike only in the spring, but fall has its own set of allergens. Ragweed is one of the most prevalent this time of year, and it can pose problems until November, or the first frost.

If you suffer allergy symptoms in cooler weather, here are a few tips to help you enjoy fall again:

  • When you first experience a runny nose, watering eyes and sneezing, it’s best to go to the doctor. The doctor can determine if you’re suffering from allergies, a cold or the flu. Your doctor will also be able to suggest the best allergy medication for your symptoms.
  • When searching for allergy medication, make sure to read the labels. Some medications may cause drowsiness, so reserve those for nighttime use. By the same token, some “all-day” medications can make it difficult to relax and fall asleep at night. Again, consult your doctor if your medicine seems to be affecting your sleep patterns.
  • If you’re working in your yard, wear a mask that covers your month and nose.
  • The fall weather may feel great and you may be tempted to open your windows, but if fall means allergies, keep your windows closed. Unfortunately, that also means in your car; keep windows and sunroofs closed, and don’t lower the top on a convertible.
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