How Do Fall Allergies Make COPD Worse?

How Do Fall Allergies Make COPD Worse?

park bench in fall

As someone with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), you already experience wheezing, chest tightness and a host of other uncomfortable symptoms on a regular basis.

That makes it even more important to protect yourself from common fall allergens.

Some of the most common culprits in autumn include mold and ragweed.

Here is what you need to know about avoiding fall allergies if you have COPD.

How Do Allergies Affect COPD?

From sneezing to dry eyes, allergies affect your body in a number of inconvenient and uncomfortable ways. When you already suffer from COPD, allergies can exacerbate the symptoms of your pre-existing disease.

In fact, at least one study confirms that people who have COPD are more likely to be hospitalized when they encounter seasonal allergies.

Furthermore, people with COPD may be more likely to suffer from allergies to begin with, complicating the relationship even more.

In short, fall allergies will likely make breathing more difficult when pollen counts are high.

How Can You Avoid Fall Allergy Triggers?

If you have COPD, you should be on the lookout for common fall allergens. These include mold and ragweed, the latter of which can travel hundreds of miles through the wind.

You can avoid fall allergy triggers by:

  • Wearing a mask when it's windy outside or you're working in and around dead leaves
  • Checking the pollen count daily with the National Allergy Bureau and staying indoors with the windows closed when the mold count is high
  • Upgrading the air filtration system in your home and cleaning out your heating and air vents often
  • Planting cover crops in your yard that will thwart the growth of ragweed
  • Showering and washing your clothes often, especially after coming in from hours in the windy outdoors

If you have COPD, breathing can be a challenge any time of year. Seasonal autumn allergens only throw a wrench in your health, but you don't have to miss out on holiday fun.

Be proactive about avoiding allergens, and come see the staff at the Paris Community Hospital when you have more questions about how COPD and fall allergies are related.