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Best ways to fight fall allergies

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Fall allergy season is coming.

Allergy medicines may not be available in pumpkin flavor — but that doesn’t mean you should disregard them in the coming autumn months.

Seasonal fall allergies are on the way and can be a hassle to handle if you don’t know how to best prepare your body and living space.

Dr. Clifford W. Bassett, the founder and medical director of Allergy and Asthma Care of New York, told the Daily News what can be done to make sure your holiday season isn’t ruined by watery eyes and constant sinus pressure.

The best defense is a good offense

Allergy medicines are not going to instantly make you feel better.

“Many medications will work better if you start them even before symptoms begin in many cases,” according to Bassett.

For quick fixes, Bassett says to try over the counter pills like Claritin and Allegra, nose sprays such as Flonase and moisturizing, preservative free eye drops.

However, it’s still best to see a professional in order to “put together an effective plan,” Bassett said.


Pollen does not go away in the fall.

Keep an eye on local pollen levels

The changing of temperature between seasons hurts those with allergies because it comes with longer pollen seasons.

“Higher levels of pollens are usually found on warm, dry and windy days and lower levels of seasonal pollens on windless, wet and cloudy days,” Bassett says.

Check websites like Weather.com to get the latest information on how bad the pollen situation is outdoors before leaving for work in the morning.


Sunglasses and hats are your best friend on windy days when the pollen count is higher.

Glasses help protect your eyes from getting irritated from pollen, while hats make sure allergens don’t stick to your hair, which can bring all kinds of allergens into your home, especially if you have gel in it.

“Hair gels can create a ‘pollen-magnet’ affect, thus fall pollen may stick to your hair, allowing a transfer of pollen on bedroom pillows, allowing for a nighttime ‘pollen cloud’ to affect your beauty sleep,” Bassett said.

Plants are not always your friends

Although they produce oxygen, many types of plants are bad for people with allergies. Bassett says to stay away from the following ones, no matter how good they smell:

Chrysanthemums, dahlia, goldenrod, baby’s breath, ordinary sunflowers, gardenia, jasmine, narcissus, lavender and lilac.

Instead, opt for English Ivy, bamboo palm, rubber and snake plants, which NASA says help clean the air in your home.


Allergy medicines work better if you begin to take them before you feel symptoms.

An unmade bed does not fix you house dust mite problem

Contrary to recent reports, whether your bed is made or unmade is not going to make or break how severely house dust mites affect your allergies.

“It is a bit more complex,” Bassett said. “Other factors and conditions also dictate exposure and subsequent symptoms, such as room moisture or humidity, frequency of washing bedding and whether hot temperature cycle is used during washing, room temperature as well as level or severity.”

Bassett does recognize that the bedroom is a “hot spot” for allergies and recommends investing in pillow and mattress encasings to help fend of home dust mites.


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