Updated:

September 1, 2022

Why Are My Allergies Worse In The Fall?

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It's that time of year again, the leaves are falling and pumpkin spice is back. Fall also means another thing — allergies. The pollen is beginning to kick up for all you allergy sufferers out there. The term hay fever is often used to describe these symptoms and is derived from the "illness" that farmers used to obtain when harvesting hay in the fall. While we might not be getting sick from actual hay anymore, there are some other allergy culprits to be cautious of. This fall, minimize your seasonal allergy symptoms and be prepared!

Most Common Fall Allergy Symptoms:

Fall allergy symptoms are often overlooked due to the fact that the symptoms overlap with the common cold, flu, or even COVID symptoms. This is especially prominent in the fall when the weather begins to get colder. Here are the top allergy symptoms:

  • Runny nose
  • Fatigue
  • Itchy or watery eyes
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing or wheezing 
  • Headache

Our most common question about fall allergies is:

What is the difference between a cold and allergies?

This graph helps determine the similarities and differences between both. If you're still unsure of which you might be experiencing, take our quiz!

What are the most common fall allergy triggers?

Weeds and molds are your worst friend when it comes to fall allergies. 

You might think that you're safe if you live in an area where ragweed doesn't grow. But ragweed pollen can travel for hundreds of miles on a windy day. In fact, one ragweed plant can produce 1 billion seeds of pollen. So if you think you're safe, think again. About 75% of people who are allergic to spring plants (grasses and trees) are also prone to having reactions to ragweed.

Weeds:

When it gets rainy, grasses and weeds grow out of control depending on where you live, including:

  • Ragweed
  • Goldenrod 
  • Sagebrush 
  • Mugwort
  • English plantain
  • Lamb's quarter
  • Pigweed
  • Russian thistle
  • Yellow dock
  • Sorrel
  • Firebush
  • Cocklebur
  • Marsh elder

Mold:

Mold is another fall allergy trigger. With fall weather typically comes cooler weather and rain. Once fall foliage begins to decay, it becomes a breeding ground for mold. Breathing in mold can aggravate asthma; causing heavy breathing, wheezing, and other upper respiratory symptoms within those mold allergies. If you are trying to make the most out of the cooler weather and enjoying the outdoors a lot more, it might be best to wear a mask while out in the woods. 

Pets:

Pets can bring in allergies from outdoors. Collecting everything from mold, to ragweed, on their paws and fur coat. Be sure to wipe your pups down before bringing them in, especially before they jump on your bed. 

Dust Mites:

We can all agree that fall weather is the best, days get a little cooler and you might even have to turn on the heat to cozy up. This might be the first time in a couple months that you're turning on your heating. This can blow a lot of dust mites around inside your home, which trigger, sneezes, wheezes and runny noses. So be sure to change your filter before you run your heating system!  

When do fall allergies start and end?

The fall allergy season begins in August and continues through November. However, pollen levels tend to peak in early to mid-September. While ragweed remains a top pollinator for fall allergies, in warmer climates, grass still may pollinate throughout a good portion of the year. 

Tips to manage your fall allergies:

  • Try to stay indoors when pollen counts are high: pollen in the fall is typically at its peak during the late morning or midday. Be sure to stay updated with local pollen counts in your area. We like pollen.com!
  • Change your air filters: Mold and dust mites can get trapped in the vents over the summer and will fill your house with them if you don't change them.
  • Use a HEPA filter: It’s designed to remove pollen, mold, and other allergens from the air.
  • Use a dehumidifier: This will help control mold growth and lower the humidity in your home. Keeping a humidity level of 30 - 50 percent indoors discourages mold growth.
  • Consider wearing glasses, a mask, or a bandana: This will help to protect your eyes and avoid inhaling allergens while pulling weeds or raking leaves. 
  • Wear long sleeves and pants: To reduce your skin’s exposure to allergies when outside, especially if you’re hiking in the woods.
  • Change your clothes after coming inside: Don’t bring in all the allergens that have collected onto your clothes inside!

Treatment for seasonal allergies:

At Aspire Allergy & Sinus, we offer a variety of curative, long-term relief treatment options, so when fall comes around next year, you won't be suffering through your allergies again. 

Allergy Shots: Allergy shots are a great way to keep a routine for your allergy treatment. By using allergy shots, you're training your immune system to not overreact to the allergen. Gradually, the amount of allergen that is injected will increase as your immune system continues to be trained to not react. This is done weekly or bi-weekly injections in the office! 

Allergy Drops: Allergy drops are created for those on the go. This long-term relief treatment can be taken anywhere and at any time. Just as long as you take 3 drops a day! They’re great for children too. These work in the same way as allergy shots: as your body adjusts, the concentration increases, and your immune system no longer reacts to the allergen.

ExACT Immunoplasty: Our ExACT treatment is the newest way to treat allergies. It has been clinically proven to be just as effective as 3 years worth of allergy shots, with an 87% long-term success rate! If you're looking for a quick treatment this is it. With only 3 appointments over the span of eight weeks, this treatment option is a no brainer! 

It can be difficult to enjoy the great outdoors when you are suffering from allergies. But with customized allergy treatment you can enjoy crisp autumn air without sniffling and sneezing for days on end. So book your appointment online today—there's no better time of year than autumn, after all.

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