How to Survive Fall Allergy Season

Itchy eyes, stuffy nose, and constant sneezing - if you suffer from fall allergies, you’re not alone.

More than 35 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies, their bodies reacting to triggers from ragweed, mold spores and more.

“When you have allergies, your body reacts to a trigger and kicks your immune system into overdrive,” explains Scott Reef of Reef Family Pharmacy. “It releases substances like histamine that actually cause allergy symptoms.”

Symptoms include runny nose and post-nasal drip, nasal congestion, sinus inflammation, coughing, sneezing, watery and itchy eyes, and itchy ears. While allergies typically surface during childhood, symptoms can begin at any age and appear for the first time during adulthood.

10 Steps to Control Allergies

Reef counsels his customers on controlling fall allergies, which are prevalent from September through November. To minimize discomfort, he suggests:

  • Keeping your windows and doors closed, and sweep or vacuum outside entryways to avoid tracking pollen into the house.
  • Using a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter vacuum bag to avoid spreading dust, and replace vacuum bags frequently.
  • Changing the filters on your air conditioner, air purifier, dehumidifier and vent registers.
  • Having your carpet professionally cleaned annually.
  • Avoiding vaporizers or humidifiers. They don’t help with allergies, and can lead to mold and dust mites in your home.
  • When traveling in the car, keep your windows closed and recirculate the ventilation.
  • Changing your clothes when you come home. They can carry traces of allergens, including pollen.
  • Paying attention to air quality reports. An app that provides pollen reports is available for mobile devices.
  • Avoiding the outdoors when allergens peak, if possible, such as in the early morning or when it is windy.
  • Covering your mouth with a scarf or an allergen mask when you’re outside. Wear sunglasses to keep pollen off your eye lashes and lids.
  • Buying relief, with an over-the-counter medication to control symptoms.

“If over-the-counter medicines aren’t bringing relief, see a doctor,” states Reef. “You may be a candidate for a prescription medication.”

Prescription medications are available in three forms: antihistamines, nasal steroid sprays, and medicines targeting allergy-related chemicals called "leukotrienes." Allergy shots are an option also, and reduce the need for medication.

 “We know how tough it is to be ‘out and about’ when you’re not feeling well,” Reef added. “That’s why we have a free delivery service for prescriptions in Cape May County. We’re also here to talk to you about your specific concerns anytime. Stop by and see us.”

About Reef Family Pharmacy

Reef Family Pharmacy is a full-service pharmacy located at 804 Route 9 South in Court House. We will be moving to a new location, 1037 Route 9 in Court House, Oct. 25. 

With a focus on personalized service, Reef Family Pharmacy distinguishes itself from the chain stores through free patient consultations, customized compounding for patients and their pets, and free prescription delivery in Cape May County. The family-owned and operated pharmacy stocks all-natural Estrogen and Progesterone cream or capsules, and a wide variety of over-the-counter medications.

Reef Family Pharmacy is located at 804 Route 9 South in Court House. Hours of operation are Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information or a consultation, call (609) 465-0004. Visit the pharmacy on Facebook, or at