The Worst Canadian Cities for Fall Allergies (& How to Survive)

I would have to say that fall is my favourite season. The leaves on the trees begin to change colour, the weather is perfect for a light jacket and jeans (my favourite go-to mom outfit), and everything smells and tastes like pumpkin and cinnamon. Yes, fall is fantastic…except when it comes to allergies.

According to Best Health, Edmonton, Toronto, Vancouver, Windsor, Halifax, and Yellowknife are the worst Canadian cities for fall allergy sufferers. But why are allergies so bad in the fall?

The simple answer: ragweed pollen.

You can’t escape this allergen because it is literally everywhere during the fall. So, if you are anything like me and my kids, you spend most of this beautiful, beautiful season blowing your nose and wiping your watery eyes and looking for any kind of relief. But fall allergies do not have to be awful—in fact, there are ways to beat the fall allergy season (before it even begins, in some cases!). Here’s how:

1. Build Up Your Defences Early

Start your (doctor or naturopath recommended) antihistamine or allergy shot regimen BEFORE allergy season hits hard. Not only will you build up your defences, but also you will suffer fewer symptoms once allergy season is in full bloom.

2. Change Your Filters

If you are like me, you don’t remember to change a single filter in your home until the heater or air conditioner has been running nonstop for months. Change that this year, by checking and changing any filters in your home BEFORE you have to turn on the heat. This goes for your vacuum and vent filters, too. And, while you’re at it, make sure you vacuum or dust your air return vents regularly to keep dust from becoming airborne.

3. Close Windows

Don’t undo the work of all that filter changing and vent cleaning by having the windows open! Keep spores, pollen, mold, and more outside by closing your windows and keeping them closed. Protect your indoor air as much as possible.

4. Bathe

Yes, it sounds simple (for non-parents at least!), but daily showers can make a big difference when it comes to allergy season. Pollen and spores get lodged into hair and crevices, making your allergies act up even more than normal. A daily dose of bathing can help remove potential allergens from your skin and hair. While you’re at it, wash your clothing regularly too, especially if you are outside for prolonged periods of time.

5. Your New Favourite Word is D-R-Y

The drier your home, the better! Make a habit of doing regular mold checks where you live (especially in the bathrooms and basement) and where you work. Running a dehumidifier can help keep mold and potential allergens out of your home, but remember to check the dehumidifier itself for any mold and/or necessary filter changes.

Do you have any tried and tested allergy season saviours? Share them in the comments!

Featured image: Getty/Oliver Rossi

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