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6 Ways to Keep Fall Allergy and Asthma Flare-ups Under Control

The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) and its allergist members, doctors who are experts at diagnosing and treating allergies and asthma, offer their best tips on beating the misery of allergies.

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 Get a flu shot

You’ll especially want to do this if you’ve got asthma. (These are the silent signs you’ve got asthma.) Because both asthma and the flu are respiratory diseases, people with asthma may have more frequent and severe asthma attacks when they have the flu and are at greater risk for more severe illness and life-threatening complications.

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If you’re bothered by ragweed and mold…

You’ll want to limit your outside activities. If you are outdoors, shower and change your clothes when you come in to get rid of the pollen that may stick to you. (Here’s how to allergy-proof every room of your house.) Keep your child away from leaf-raking if they are allergic to mold. And if you are allergic, wear a NIOSH N95 mask to reduce exposure to small particles. Children with allergies should avoid hay rides. Try one of these fun fall activities instead.

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 Avoid bonfires and fireplaces

Especially if you have asthma. The smoke can trigger an attack. It also tends to get cold quickly on fall nights—another common asthma trigger. Here’s how to prevent an asthma attack.

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 Wash your hands

You’ll want to steer clear of cold and flu viruses, which could make your asthma and allergy symptoms even worse. Think you know the best way to get rid of germs? You might be wrong. These are the five most common hand-washing mistakes that might be making you sick.

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 Install a new furnace filter

Do this before turning the heat on. Look for one with a MERV 11 or 12 disposable high efficiency media filter. (These are the 10 home maintenance tasks you’ll regret if you forget.) Change it every one to three months and have your heating unit inspected and serviced very six months. Leave the fan on to create a ‘whole house’ air filtration system to remove tiny particles that can trigger allergies and asthma.

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 Consult an allergist

See an allergist to pinpoint what’s causing your allergy and asthma symptoms. With allergy tests, an allergist can identify the cause of your suffering and determine the right treatment to stop it. To find an allergist and learn more about allergies and asthma, visit allergyandasthmarelief.org. Watch out for these 7 asthma symptoms every adult should know.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest