Monday, September 21, 2015

surviving fall allergy season

this is a sponsored post by minute clinic. all thoughts, opinions and stories are my own.

my sweet fourth born started kindergarten this year. as this little piece of my heart left for school, i looked forward each day to him bounding off the bus with fantastic tales of his kindergarten adventures. 

the first days of school, i wasn't disappointed. i love kids this age who will come off the bus wearing literally anything their teacher provides for them to wear. they are completely confident in who they are and know that no matter what they have on their heads, they look awesome. 


the blissful beginning of my sweet's school year didn't last very long. within the first couple of days of school, my little guy came home in worse and worse condition. on day three of school he came off the bus wheezing so badly that i almost took him straight to the e.r.  i was able to get his breathing under control and tell his teacher what to look for in the future but that episode became the sign of a very rough few weeks to come. 

my little man has missed several days of school so far. one day at the doctor his oxygen levels were down in the 80's and they had to spend a great deal of time getting his sweet breathing under control. he has been a mess and all of his asthma issues have been linked back to very bad fall seasonal allergies. 

i don't know about you, but i always associated allergies with the springtime. as i have done my homework over the last few weeks, i've learned a few things that have helped me to better understand this season and all the allergies it brings. here are some things that have helped me to better prepare my sweet boy for success in these fall months. 

things to know about fall allergies

  • many people confuse a common cold with allergies. one key difference between the two is that itchy eyes are nearly always a symptom of allergies and aches and pains are associated with the common cold. knowing what you are fighting is the first key to success. if you have a fever, it's not allergies.
  • ragweed pollen is one of the main fall allergy triggers. it's out in full force right now! it's nearly impossible to avoid as it's estimated a single ragweed plant can release 1 billion pollen grains during fall season.
  • dust and dust mites are common allergies that get stirred into the air when you turn on heat for the first time (or when kids go back into classrooms that have been empty for the summer.)
  • allergy symptoms often get progressively worse over a few days. symptoms include itchy eyes, sneezing, runny nose, headache, and sinus pressure.
  • there are actually more allergy triggers in the fall (who knew?). typically weed pollens, mold and dust allergies flare up in the fall. 
  • old blankets and clothing that has been put away for the summer is likely a breeding ground for dust mites, one of the common fall allergens.

tips to treat fall allergies


  • change your air filters. i changed mine the other day and they were a disaster. i know that in the coming weeks we may actually need the heater at some point. those filters need to be clean to sift through all that dust the heater will circulate.
  • wash blankets, cloths and bedding that have been sitting stagnant for months. no one wants to think about their household items hosting dust mites. washing those items before your family uses them can stop problems before they start. 
  • in the early fall, keep your windows close from 10 am to 4 pm. this is torture for me as the weather is perfect for some fresh air in the house. still, this will reduce your exposure to allergens like ragweed. 
  • if you have someone with a dust allergy in your house, purchase hypo-allergenic pillow and mattress covers. these covers zip over mattresses and pillows and provide a barrier from dust and dust mites as you sleep. they have been life changing for my little man. 

  • wash all bedding every two weeks to help ease allergy symptoms. 
  • have your allergy sufferer shower every night before bed. going to sleep covered in allergens is a really bad idea.
  • for severe allergy sufferers (like my guy), wash your hands and face each time you come in from outside. if possible, even change your shirt. this may seem extreme but it has truly made a difference in my boy's ability to keep his allergies under control.
  • find a good health care provider to help in your fight against allergies. we have used cvs minute clinic for our basic allergy needs. not only can they point us in the best direction for over the counter products but they have been able to prescribe my sweet guy with the prescription medications he needs to be healthy during this time of the year. we need all the help we can get and they are always professional, quick, and extremely helpful. i can't imagine allergy season without their help. http://bit.ly/1DwHBkm


most of all, don't let allergies get out of control. when my little guy couldn't breath because of his allergy induced asthma, i am not going to lie, i was pretty terrified. i've never seen his asthma so bad. he curled into a ball and literally fell to the floor. my heart nearly broke and stopped all at the same time. i have learned what my little guy needs and he now has a medication regiment that is keeping him well under control. that along with trying to maintain a healthy home environment for him has transformed his little life this last week. 

now instead of having him step off the bus in a panic of gasping breaths and uncontrolled sneezes, he steps off the bus looking like this...


and this...


and even this...


i'll happily take these smiling faces any day.