MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Autumn officially kicked off on Saturday morning, and while many count fall as their favorite season, it’s the time when people’s allergies fire up the most. Especially this year.

Dr. Julia Montejo with Fairview clinics says allergy season has indeed been worse this year, because of the dry summer. There has been more time for pollen to get dispersed into the air.

This time of year, the major culprits are weeds and ragweed.

“There’s not a lot you can do to prevent allergies. If you’re going to get them, you’re going to get them. But you can certainly avoid exposure,” Montejo said. “Stay indoors, close windows in car and home. Don’t line dry your clothes, and shower and bath before bed.”

Other tips for easing fall allergy symptoms:

Stay indoors when pollen is at its peak to avoid being exposed to your allergy triggers. That is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Before you turn on your heat for the first time, have your heating ducts cleaned and change the filters, using an anti-allergy filter. Particles of mold and other allergens can become trapped in the vents over the summer. Also, use a humidifier to keep your air at between 35 and 50 percent humidity.

You can also wear a mask when you rake leaves to avoid inhaling mold spores.

There are a few other options to help relieve allergy symptoms, including sinus rinses like neti pots or squeeze bottles, over the counter medications (many of which used to be prescription but are no longer), and consulting an allergist in extreme situations.

Montejo says relief from fall allergies usually comes when we get that first really hard freeze.