Living with Fall Allergies

September 11, 2017

By:  Family Medicine Physician, Dr. Helen Box

Why do allergy symptoms increase in the fall? Warm days and autumn winds carry plant pollen far and wide, and pollen isn’t the only culprit. Many allergy sufferers react to the mold that’s produced when rain penetrates layers of fallen leaves and decaying plant matter.

Allergy advice often centers on avoiding exposure, but in our part of the world that just won’t do -- our autumns are too busy and too beautiful to miss. Here are strategies instead.

Beat Fall Allergies 

-- Schedule outdoor exercise in the morning, when there’s less to wind spread irritants.

-- If you’ve been outside for a significant amount of time, shower and change clothes when you get home.

-- Don’t line dry laundry, as sheets, clothing, and towels are pollen magnets.

-- Change filters in air conditioners and clean fans more often, using HEPA filters whenever possible.

-- Use an air conditioner at night to reduce exposure during sleep.

-- Take your allergy medications before symptoms arise.

-- Keep an eye on the pollen count, and step up defenses when it’s high.

-- See a physician to identify specific irritants. Knowing what triggers increases the chances of getting the just-right medication, and can help you plan an effective coping strategy.

-- See a doctor. Prescription medications are more effective than over-the-counter remedies and can be safely taken by children as well as adults.

Need help with allergy symptoms?  Call one of our primary care clinics located in Watertown, Ixonia, Johnson Creek, Juneau, Lake Mills and Waterloo.  You can learn more about them by visiting