October 13, 2022
What Are The Top Allergens In October Across The Country?
The fall season brings lots of beautiful colors, fresh vegetables, and leaves – and allergies! October pollen can bring in a lot of allergies across the United States. Hay fever is extremely common during this time making symptoms much worse due to the effect of ragweed and mold. If you've been trying your best to overcome and relieve these allergies yet the symptoms can't go away, these allergens might be the issue:
Allergies in the Northern United States
Leaves are changing color, leaves are falling, and temperatures are beginning to drop. Fall allergies such as ragweed, are on the decline as the weather continues to cool down.
However, in the fall season the north tends to experience a lot of rainfall. With more rain comes dampness and humidity leading to an increased growth of mold spores—the culprits behind those pesky allergy symptoms! While the rain might be adding to your cozy fall weather, the rising mold counts can make it hard for us (or our pets) to not fall into fall allergy symptoms.
Allergies in the Southern United States
Allergies are typically pretty bad this time of year in the south. The warm weather extends the pollen season and continues to trigger fall allergy symptoms. It's no surprise then, that states like Florida and Texas--typically rated high on the allergy capitals list—offer some of the worst fall allergies in the country.
In addition to ragweed pollen, the fall allergy season is also marked by a surge in mold spores. Mold is one of the most common triggers for allergic reactions, and warm weather conditions can cause it to flourish in your home.
Allergies in the Western United States
While the rest of the country is sneezing and blowing their runny noses, you may be looking forward to October as a time when pollen levels drop. That’s because in most regions in the West, including Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado fall weather is typically very dry—and therefore less conducive for mold growth. But don’t think you’ve lucked out so fast. The weeds continue to grow and pollinate as long as the weather stays favorable, which can be especially in Arizona and New Mexico.
Allergies in the Eastern United States
Luckily for the East region of the country, fall allergies are slowing down as temperatures continue to drop. The colder it gets, the more plants will continue to wither and die off, resulting in little to no pollination, meaning no more sneezing! However, similar to the rest of the country, the constant showers that keep the East Coast cool are playing a big part as to why mold pollen counts are so high.
Top Allergies in October Across the Country:
Mold is a type of organism known as fungi, which reproduce through spores that spread throughout the air. When you have an allergic reaction to mold, it’s usually because you’re inhaling the spores.
Mold can be found just about anywhere, making it a perennial allergen. Mold growth occurs in damp, moist, and warm environments, making areas such as garages, attics, piles of leaves or compost a hot spot for mold growth.
Symptoms of mold allergies include:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Itchy eyes
- Sore throat
- Coughing or wheezing
Mold allergy symptoms can vary from mild to moderate or even severe depending on the level of exposure.
How to prevent mold allergy symptoms and reduce mold exposure:
- Check your local pollen count for humidity and mold counts. If counts are high, it might be best to stay indoors.
- Wear a mask. If you’re raking leaves, cutting your grass, or cleaning your gutters be sure to wear a mask and gloves to prevent inhaling mold spores.
- Change clothes after coming inside. Don’t bring mold spores into your home, instead change clothes immediately after coming in from outside.
- Change your air filters regularly. Mold and dust get trapped in these filters all day long. Be sure to change them out frequently and dispose of them immediately.
- Use a dehumidifier and keep indoor humidity under 50% to discourage mold growth.
- Repair leaks right away to avoid standing water.
Mold allergy treatments:
While our tips and tricks will help you decrease your mold exposure, it’s impossible to remove all triggers. Over-the-counter treatments can help minimize your symptoms short-term. But for a long-term allergy treatment seek allergy shots, allergy drops, or ExACT! These treatments are made to help your immune system learn to not react to allergens overtime, making it a worthwhile treatment.
While weed season is typically a short allergy season, it sure knows how to pack a punch. There are over thousands of different species of weeds, most of which pollinate and make you start sneezing like crazy. Weed season is the allergen of the fall, typically peaking in August, but if it’s dry and windy outside it can still play a part in why you might be feeling so bad.
Top weeds that are affecting your allergies:
Ragweed: A weed that is native to almost every state in the US. This weed can range from a few inches to up to 12 feet. Ragweed is known for how much pollen it can produce: one plant can produce up to a billion seeds of pollen. These seeds are small and lightweight and can travel up to 400 miles on a windy day! Breathing in ragweed is most likely the cause of your fall allergy symptoms no matter where you’re located.
Sagebrush: Also known as, Artmisias, aromatic or bitter herbs or shrubs. Sagebrush is extremely common in the West, with up to 11 species present in the Rockies! This plant is known to affect those with asthma allergies due to the tiny particles of pollen that can irritate the throat.
Pigweed: A very common weed to see in just about every region of the US. Pigweed is common in rural areas such as, pastures, roadsides, backyards, and gardens. While this weed begins pollinating in mid-August, it will continue as long as warm weather persists.
Tumbleweed: Also known as Russian Thistle. While Tumbleweed is considered a moderate allergen, it can still cause slight sniffles for those who are allergic to weeds. Tumbleweeds are often found in dry areas and more commonly found in the Southwest and Western areas of the US. Tumbleweeds stay true to their name and spread their seeds while they’re blowing and tumbling through the wind.
Symptoms of weed allergies include:
- Allergy headache
- Runny or stuffy nose
How to prevent weed allergy symptoms:
- Check local pollen counts, especially on windy days.
- Close all windows or doors in your home to prevent pollen from coming inside.
- Invest in an HEPA air purifier that can decrease the amount of pollen in your home.
Weed allergy treatments:
Over-the-counter medications are an easy short-term solution. Just remember, they only mask your symptoms, not treat them. Sinus rinses are also great if you’re feeling extra stuffy and congested.
If you’re tired of suffering year after year and season after season, it might be time to look into long-term treatment. Immunotherapy (allergy shots) slowly introduce your body to the allergen to decrease reactions and symptoms. They’re also a great way to stay on track with your treatment! Sublingual Immunotherapy (allergy drops) work in the same way
as allergy shots, but can be taken anywhere and at any time! ExACT Immunoplasty is a new treatment that can help treat allergies in just eight weeks!
No matter where you live, facing an allergy is not out of the question. Whether it be from weeds, molds, trees, grass, or even food. Allergies will always be there. While we can try our best to prevent them, treating them at the root is the best way. If you’ve been in a lifelong battle with your allergies, let us help you. Book an appointment online today and see what life looks like without allergies!