Autumn has arrived, and you don’t feel so good. You can’t stop sneezing and sniffling. The return of cool weather leaves you feeling not invigorated but miserable.
What’s going on? You may be suffering from pollen allergy, a.k.a. allergic rhinitis or hay fever. Thirty million Americans do, and symptoms typically flare in fall.
Like all allergies, hay fever stems from a glitch in the immune system. Instead of attacking harmful foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses, it tries to neutralize...
Dust mites, on the other hand, are heavier and fall to the ground, so HEPA filters can't suck them out of the air. And they won't help much with pet allergies if your animals spend time in your bed or on upholstered furniture, where their dander gets into fabric.
Dehumidifiers. If dust mites are your trigger, make their lives miserable. Low humidity hurts them, especially when it's under 40%. You can buy room dehumidifiers or a larger one that goes on your furnace.
Air conditioner. If pollen bugs you, close the window and turn on the AC. It can also can help with dust mites because it keeps the humidity low.
Allergy bedding. If you're allergic to dust mites, it's a good idea to cover your pillows and mattresses in special cases. They don't do much good, though, for other allergy triggers.
Cleaning supplies. The chemicals in them, especially the ones you spray, can trigger allergy attacks. They tend to stay in the air and can make you sneeze or get a runny nose or watery eyes. Instead, use products that you can wipe with a sponge or cloth.
Another option: Try "green" cleaners that have fewer harsh chemicals. Or make your own, like a white vinegar spray or baking soda paste.