Autumn officially begins on Wednesday, September 22nd at 3:21 p.m. and that means cool and crisp days, along with allergies that cause the sneezing and watery eyes. Some people are concerned that they won't be able to tell the difference between an allergy and COVID-19. My advice is to talk to someone you trust in the health field like a doctor, nurse, or health professional.

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I have a few friends that have commented to me that they feel like their allergies are much worse this year. Apparently, there is more weed (no, not that kind of weed) pollen in the air, so that could be what's causing this reaction.

Back to the allergies, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, around 35 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies. Ragweed is the most common allergy trigger, although mold could contribute too.

Did you know that there are 17 species of ragweed in the United States? So if you have pollen allergies, you have a great chance of being allergic to ragweed. So what do you do next?

Ways To Stop The Sneezing And The Wheezing

Stay indoors. Keep windows shut and stay inside during the peak pollen times, usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Change your filters. Dirty filters can't filter the pollen that's bombarding your home. It's a good idea to change your air conditioning and furnace filter every year anyway. If you are concerned about the allergens, use a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters.

Clean heating ducts. Now that's it getting cooler, you'll be turning your heat back on again. Before you do that, clean the ducts. Mold, dust mites, and other unwelcome guests can collect in the vents during the summer and will be blown throughout the house when you turn the heat on.

Keep allergens outside. Take off your shoes before you walk around the house and leave it by the door. That's a good idea for your jacket too. You can also take a shower at night, to get rid of pollen that's in your hair and on your skin.

Take your medicine...literally. Over-the-counter meds can help. Like that commercial used to say, get The Nighttime Sniffing Sneezing Coughing Aching Stuffy Head Fever So You Can Rest Medicine. Take antihistamines at least 30 minutes before going outdoors.

As always, if you're not sure what you may have, it's better to be safe than sorry. Even if it is a little inconvenient, we want you around, all your sneezy and wheezy self.

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