Here are some tips to breathe easier this Fall
During the fall, ragweed pollen and mold are the main triggers of seasonal allergies. When inhaled, ragweed pollen often causes sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes, and a runny nose in people who have allergies. Mold can cause the same troublesome symptoms as ragweed or pigweed.
How can I treat my symptoms?
There are several over-the-counter medications targeted toward allergy relief. The class of medications known as oral antihistamines is available at your local pharmacy in liquid, chewable tablets or pill form. These medications work by blocking histamine, the molecule that is responsible for the inflammation allergens produce in sensitized people. If you block histamine, you block some of the symptoms of allergies. Additionally, nasal corticosteroids act inside the nose to decrease swelling and inflammation. Some nasal corticosteroids can now also be found over the counter. These can be used alone or in conjunction with oral antihistamines. Itchy, watery eyes can also be treated with prescription antihistamine eye drops.
How do I enjoy the outdoors when I have symptoms?
Seasonal allergies may leave you feeling less than your best, but that doesn’t mean you have to put your workouts on hold. Although you can’t exercise away your allergies, you can often exercise control over them. Some people feel better getting in some physical activity during allergy season. Keep in mind that if you exercise outdoors, you may have to take a few precautions to reduce the impact of allergy triggers. If your symptoms are severe, take a break or change-up your usual workout routine. You can wait it out until you feel better or substitute what you do. For example, if you typically run outdoors, go to the gym and walk on the elliptical machine instead or do a few bodyweight exercises at home.
“Fall allergens are very hard to avoid unless you never go outdoors. Many patients will require medications to block allergy symptoms. Some medications can be used as needed for temporary relief, whereas people with more severe allergies require daily suppressive medications. Medications can work well but must continue to be used if symptoms are to be controlled. People with long term or severe allergies have the option of allergy injections if they do not respond well to medications or do not wish to take long term medications.”
The video below provides tips to help you breathe easier if seasonal allergies are getting the best of you.
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Date Last Reviewed: August 9, 2019
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD