Pretty fall foliage can get me down for the count with allergies!
One of my favorite pasttimes in the fall is to enjoy the beauty of our local Nashville greenway system. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen my attempt at being a nature photographer and documenting this beautiful time of year! Unfortunately the greenway this time of year is FULL of ragweed, and ragweed pollen is one of the main fall allergy triggers. It is estimated that a single ragweed plant can release 1 billion pollen grains during the fall. So while I am out walking I can also be sneezing my head off! No fun.
Did you know that 35 million Americans suffer from allergies and don’t even know it? That’s because many of us confuse the symptoms of fall allergies with a common cold. It took me a while to realize that what I thought was a cold were actually allergy symptoms.
Here are some tips from CVS Minute Clinic on how to distinguish between a good ole fashion cold or allergy symptoms:
- The main difference between a cold and allergies is that a cold is caused by a viral infection while allergy symptoms are caused by your body’s own immune system’s attempt to fight off an allergen.
- If you start sniffling and coughing at the same time year after year, and your symptoms come on suddenly, it may be allergies.
- If you have a cough, it’s probably a cold. Most people with a cold will have a cough, but not everyone with allergies will have this symptom.
- If you’re aching all over, it’s probably a cold, not allergies. Aches and pains are not symptoms of allergies.
- Itchy eyes are a common symptom of allergies but RARELY occur with the common cold!
- If you have a fever, it’s not allergies! A fever is sometimes present with a cold, but will never occur with allergies
Household Tips to Avoid Fall Allergies
- In the early fall, I LOVE to open all of our windows, turn on the ceiling fans, and let in the fresh fall air. Unfortunately I am also letting in allergens. It’s really best to keep your windows closed from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Clean and change air filters every three months to reduce the amount of dirt, debris, and allergens in your house.
- Avoid window fans! While convenient, they tend to bring in unwanted pollens or mold spores.
- In the fall, we start pulling out cozy quilts when it gets cold. But these can be the home to dust mites, causing your allergies to become inflamed. Wash your bedding every two weeks to help ease allergy symptoms.
Disclosure: I have received promotional consideration from MinuteClinic. All opinions are my/our own.