Why Fall Is The Worst Season For Allergies And Asthma
Fall is on it’s way! Cooler weather, beautiful leaves, pumpkins, apples, and fall allergy and asthma flare ups are on their way. Wait… Asthma and allergy problems? Yes, fall is one of the worst times of the year for asthma attacks and allergy symptoms. Is there anything you can do to prevent or avoid allergy and asthma problems? Yes, there is! Come read and learn how to prevent problems during the worst week of the year for allergy and asthma sufferers!
What are asthma and allergies?
Asthma is a “respiratory condition marked by spasms in the bronchi of the lungs, causing difficulty in breathing. It usually results from an allergic reaction or other forms of hypersensitivity.” So people that experience asthma usually (but not always) have allergies as well. Allergies are caused by a hypersensitive immune system that reacts to the presence of an allergen as though it were a disease. People with asthma experience difficulty breathing, wheezing, and coughing when they come in contact with a substance that causes this hypersensitive immune response. Their body’s immune system attacks the foreign particles, and that in turn causes wheezing, coughing and difficulty breathing.
Why September Is The Worst Month For Asthmatics
Each year in the third week of September, multiple factors contribute to a phenomenon known as ‘Asthma Week.’12,13 Many, many people end
up in emergency rooms and urgent care facilities with complications due to asthma in this week and throughout the month of September.12,13 Why?
September just happens to have an unusual combination of factors that lead to problems for allergy and asthma sufferers. High pollen counts from ragweed, high mold spore counts from raking leaves, cold air, and smoke from campfires all contribute to flare ups from allergies and asthma.11 Cold and flu viruses are also increasing as more people go inside to avoid the cold. The good news is that by knowing the triggers, and how to avoid them, you can greatly reduce the possibility of an attack.
How To Prevent Triggers
Asthma and allergy triggers include: smoke, cold air, cold and flu viruses, mold, dust, dirt, pollen and more. The number one way to prevent allergy symptoms and asthma attacks is to prevent these allergens and viruses from entering your body.
Dust masks help keep dust, pollen, mold spores, and some virus particles from entering your lungs. The Number One way to prevent allergy symptoms and asthma attacks is to prevent allergens and viruses from entering your body. Dust masks do a decent job of this, and can help you breathe much easier if you wear one outdoors.
One of the few things that could be considered good about the current pandemic is that masks are in fashion! No one will think it is strange when you wear one. Before now, you might wear a mask in public for allergies or asthma and people might look strangely at you. Not anymore! Everyone is wearing masks nowadays.
Wearing a face covering or mask, and staying at least 6 feet from other people can also prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.18 To learn more visit our post: In-depth Guide to Face Masks: Allergies, Grass Cutting, and COVID-19.
Time of Day
What time of day you are outside can also affect the amount of pollen or other pollutants in the air. The hours between 10am and 3pm have the highest pollen counts. Try to avoid being outdoors during that time of day if pollen is an asthma or allergy trigger. If you must be outdoors, be sure to wear a mask. If you live in a large city, air pollution can also cause problems. Most large cities have air pollution warning systems available to the public.19 On days with high pollution, try to avoid exercising outdoors or spending a lot of time outside.18
Mold outdoors is a problem in the fall because of the vast amount of food available to fungi. Most fungi eat plant or animal materials that are dead: leaves, cut wood, grass clippings, etc. In the fall, all deciduous trees shed their leaves giving the native fungi a feast! Great for them… bad for air quality. If you are allergic or sensitive to mold, it is a good idea to delegate leaf raking to someone else. If you must DIY, be sure to wear a mask, leave shoes outdoors, and shower immediately after raking.
Mold inside your home is another problem altogether. Many small things in your home can quickly lead to mold including: tiny leaks that go unnoticed near windows or under cabinets, forgetting to change air filters, roof or foundation leaks, etc. Anywhere that water sits inside your home can lead to mold. Mold is a big problem for allergy and asthma sufferers, but it is also a problem for people who are not allergic! Check out our post When Mold Is Worse Than Allergies to learn more.
Keeping mold out of your home is possible and we can help. Check out our post Top 6 Types of Water Damage and How to Avoid Them. Remember that you can always call us if you suspect you have a mold problem. We can tell you for sure, and remove the mold safely for you. If the area is less than 10 square feet you may be able to clean it yourself. Check out our post A Simple Guide To Cleaning Mold to learn how.
Other Outdoor Triggers
Smoke from bonfires or chimneys and cold air are other asthma triggers. You can still be a part of a bonfire party if you have asthma, but you must be careful to avoid the smoke. Staying upwind of the fire and wearing a mask can help keep the smoke out of your lungs. Cold air itself can trigger an asthma attack. Keeping the air you breathe warmer is easier when you wear a mask or a scarf over your face when you are outside in cold air.
Everyday simple things usually work best for avoiding illness like washing your hands often, keeping hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth, and avoiding close contact with people who are sick. Carrying hand sanitizer when you can’t wash your hands, and greeting people without shaking hands can also help prevent disease. Check out these 14 ways to greet someone that don’t involve shaking hands.25
Of course avoiding people will help keep you from contracting colds, flus, and viruses, but it makes for a lonely existence. Most of us also have to go to a workplace with other people present. So, wearing a mask can help you stay well by keeping virus particles from getting in your lungs.20 Masks work both ways, both inwardly (protecting the wearer) and outwardly (protecting others).20 Thankfully, masks are in fashion this year!
Getting a flu shot every year and avoiding illness is especially important for asthma sufferers. When you have asthma, your airways are constricted. This makes it harder to breathe normally. Viruses usually come with a cough and congestion. For an ordinary person it can be hard, for asthma sufferers it is miserable, and dangerous.
The flu is an especially nasty virus that changes slightly every year, which is why you need a yearly shot. The vaccine (shot) that you receive may not prevent you from getting the flu, but the presence of antibodies to the virus should shorten the duration and lessen the symptoms.21 To learn more about the flu shot and how it works click here.21
Keeping your home clean
Dust, dirt, mold, and pollen can be avoided inside your home where you have more control over your environment. Simple changes like taking your shoes off before or as soon as you enter your home, and asking others to do likewise, drastically reduces the amounts of dust, dirt, and pollen that enter your home. Vacuuming often with a vacuum that has a HEPA filter also helps reduce these irritants.
Removing all the carpet in your home and replacing it with hard surface flooring can reduce the amount of irritants even further. Carpet is a magnet for dust, dirt, pollen, mold, and other pollutants. To learn more about the nasty things lurking in your clean carpets check our post: What’s hiding in your carpets?
Periodically checking your home for leaks (at least 4 times per year) can prevent problems before they start. Inside bathroom and kitchen sink cabinets, behind appliances, inside roofs, in the crawl space and basements are likely places to find tiny leaks and mold growth. Check out our post Top 10 Ways to Prevent Water Damage to stop problems before they start.
We’re Here When You Need Us
Nothing is more important than your health, which is why we often receive mold removal or remediation calls from families looking for relief. We understand that you are doing everything you can to protect your family, which is why we take our professionalism extremely seriously. We believe that no one should live or work in a building that makes them sick.
Call Branch Environmental. We’re experts at mold removal and indoor air quality. We can determine and remediate the underlying causes of poor indoor air quality from hidden mold sources to major contaminants. We want you to feel healthy and breathe easy in your home. We can identify exactly what is going on in your home and rid it of environmental toxins, often for good.
Branch Environmental – Because nobody should live or work in a building that makes them sick.
For more information please go to:
- Branch’s Non-Toxic Spring Cleaning Guide
- Asthma and Mold – Branch Environmental
- Dust Mites – Branch Environmental
- NATURAL RELIEF FOR ALLERGY SYMPTOMS – Branch Environmental
- What’s that musty smell? MVOC’s – Branch Environmental
- Disinfecting, Sterilizing, and Sanitizing is there a Difference? – Branch Environmental
- How to Disinfect Properly– Branch Environmental
- Cleaning Products – Homemade vs. Store Bought– Branch Environmental
- Your Right to Breathe – Branch Environmental
- Branch Environmental Keeping You Safe
- 7 Fall Asthma Triggers to Avoid – Everyday Health
- Protect Yourself During Asthma Peak Week: Tips to Help You Avoid Asthma Episodes – Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA)
- It’s Asthma Peak Week — Here’s How to Get Ready – Forbes
- When Mold Is Worse Than Allergies – Branch Environmental
- Home of 10,000 Leaks: Why Water Damage Leads To Mold
- How Your Home Can Affect Your Allergies – Branch Environmental
- 4 Types of Hypersensitivity Reactions – ThoughtCo.
- Does air pollution make outdoor exercise risky? What if you have asthma or another health problem? – Mayo Clinic
- Georgia Air Monitoring – Georgia.gov
- Considerations for Wearing Masks – CDC
- Vaccine Effectiveness: How Well Do the Flu Vaccines Work? – CDC
- Top 10 Ways to Prevent Water Damage – Branch Environmental
- What’s hiding in your carpets? Branch Environmental
- HEPA Filters: What They Are & How They Work – AllergyandAir.com
- 14 ways to greet someone that don’t involve shaking hands – Mashable
- A Simple Guide To Cleaning Mold – Branch Environmental
- Top 6 Types of Water Damage and How to Avoid Them – Branch Environmental
- Top 8 Reasons Why Clean Air Is More Important Than Ever – Branch Environmental
- Home of 10,000 Leaks: Why Water Damage Leads To Mold – Branch Environmental
- In-depth Guide to Face Masks: Allergies, Grass Cutting, and COVID-19 – Branch Environmental
Blog information is NOT intended to provide or replace medical advice. NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition.
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