Doctors say be proactive in fighting fall allergies

As the temperatures continue to drop, we tend to close the windows and close up the house, and there's not as much ventilation in our homes

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – As the temperatures continue to drop, doctors say your risk for upper respiratory issues increases.

Allergist Dr. Asif Khan, with the Asthma and Allergy Center in Youngstown, said this time of year he typically sees an uptick in patients with nasal issues and upper respiratory infections.

As the temperatures continue to drop, we tend to close the windows and close up the house, and there’s not as much ventilation in our homes.

Khan said pets can add to the problem. When they come in the house, they bring dust mites and other allergens. He said it is important to not let your pets on furniture, especially on beds.

To help keep the air in your house clean, Kahn suggests vacuuming frequently and changing your air filter regularly.

“Depending on the size of the house, the size of the filter, every three to four months, roughly. It definitely helps to reduce the particulate matter in the air, especially if you have pets,” Kahn said.

Staying ahead of the problem is key and medication can help, but it’s not always the answer. Along with changing air filters and vacuuming, Kahn suggests changing your clothes when you come in from being outside for a long period of time.

“There is also a covering you can put on your pillows, and you can put them on your bedding as well. They are allergy-proof covers that help reduce the risk of exposure to dust mites and other particulate matter that come off your pets and your clothes,” Kahn said.

If you tend to have breathing problems in the fall, Khan says to start taking an antihistamine before you see symptoms to stay ahead of it.