As the days get shorter and leaves start to turn, your allergy symptoms may worsen – the fall season, in particular, can be difficult for people who are sensitive to mold and ragweed pollen.
Mold is commonly known for growing in your basement, bathroom, or damp areas in the house. However, mold spores can also breed in wet spots outside, such as in piles of damp leaves.
If you have a mold allergy, your immune system overreacts when you breathe in mold spores. Once exposed, your body produces antibodies that cause it to react whenever it comes in contact with the mold, triggering the release of histamine, which causes mold allergy symptoms to occur.
So, you may find yourself sneezing, coughing, or experiencing itchy, watery eyes and sinus pain in the cool nights and warm days from August through October.
And with climate change, unseasonably warm fall temperatures combined with high humidity, or dry, windy weather can release mold spores into the air, thus making allergic rhinitis symptoms last longer.
Raking leaves and mowing the lawn can also stir up pollen and mold into the atmosphere, causing runny nose, itchy eyes, sinus pain, and other symptoms.
To reduce your exposure to mold inside and outside your home, consider these tips:
- 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.
- Use a HEPA filter in your heating system to remove pollen, mold, and other particles from the air.
- Use a dehumidifier to keep your air between 35% and 50% humidity
- Regularly check your home for mold growth, clean up any standing water right away, and use your bathroom fan when you shower.
- Eliminate pipe leaks or groundwater seepage in basements.
- Consider replacing any carpeting from your bathroom and basement with linoleum or concrete flooring that will not retain moisture.
- Clean up bathrooms and kitchens regularly with vinegar or anti-mildew agents to avoid mold buildup.
- Keep organic plant containers clean and dry, such as those made of straw, wicker, or hemp.
- Toss or recycle old books and newspapers. If left in damp basements, they can quickly become moldy.
- Wear a NIOSH rated N95 mask when raking leaves, gardening, or cleaning compost bins and house gutters
To keep your fall allergy symptoms manageable, consider adding 100% drug-free ClearUP Sinus Pain Relief® (gentle, advanced microcurrent technology) to your regimen. ClearUP is FDA approved and clinically proven so it’s safe and effective. A single treatment takes only 5 minutes. When used twice a day for four weeks, sinus pain was reduced by 43%.
In some cases, treatment may require a combination of natural, over-the-counter, and other alternatives. If your symptoms persist, consider seeing a board-certified allergist to get a proper diagnosis.