Ever notice that your allergies start acting up as summer ends? Congestion, sinus pain, watery eyes, fatigue and itchy throat start creeping back as fall sets in. If you think your allergies get worse in the fall, it’s not just your imagination. Keep reading for a look into why this is so common as the leaves start changing colors.
Do Your Allergies Get Worse in the Fall? Here’s Why:
Cool autumn air carries allergens that can irritate your immune system. Cold weather can also heighten those with bad allergies and/or asthma’s response. Wind can carry pollen from ragweed, grasses, and trees hundreds of miles from its origin which can affect anyone outside during those windy days. Additionally, rainy days can result in more mold growth both inside and outside, and dust mites thrive in humidity. All of these are just a handful of many reasons why seasonal weather changes heighten individuals’ allergy responses. An easy way to combat this is to try to stay inside as much as possible and to keep your windows closed.
Ragweed pollinates from August 15 to early October through most of the United States. Surprisingly, each plant only lasts one season, however in that one season, the Ragweed plant can produce up to 1 billion pollen grains. A typical Ragweed season can last between 6 to 10 weeks in most US states so it is important to follow a few basic precautions: if possible, limit time outdoors and monitor the levels with the National Allergy Bureau.
#3 Pollen and Mold
The Pollen and Mold levels in your area are increasing during the Fall Season (follow the NAB link above to track the levels). Pollens and molds can be stirred up doing simple tasks, for example: raking leaves. So if your allergies and asthma act up when you’re cleaning up your yard, try wearing an NIOSH-rated N95 mask. During fall, it is near impossible to avoid the Pollen and Mold levels, but if it gets to an unbearable point, we recommend speaking with an allergist to discuss the right plan for you. With the right plan, your symptoms will decrease and in some cases, even dissipate.
#4 Spreading Germs
The spread of germs is always a cause of increased allergies, however, in the fall, the increase of common viruses and/or colds can spread at a quick pace. For example, if you have children, you will notice that your kids’ allergies will act up whenever they go to and from school. If your child has allergy sensitivities, inform your child’s teacher and school nurse in advance and provide them with a recommended allergy medication from their Pediatrician and/or Allergist.
If over-the-counter remedies don’t work and your symptoms are unbearable, make an appointment with an immunologist to help manage your symptoms. If you do not already have an allergy calendar, we recommend obtaining one specific to your state to reference each year. For immediate assistance with emergencies, visit your local Hospitality Health Emergency Room.