Thought you left the seasonal sniffles with your sandals and sundresses? Think again. Spring isn’t the only season that can make you suffer—autumn can also be a red-eyed, runny-nosed minefield. While many associate springtime pollen, flowers, and buzzing insects with allergy problems, the fall season can be just as problematic. Seasonal allergies are a year-round phenomenon, with fall being especially taxing.
Fall allergy triggers are different, but they can cause just as many nasty symptoms. As the weather cools and the leaves begin to change, allergy symptoms can still affect those who are sensitive to their environment. But, what causes fall allergies in the first place? Once you learn to spot the symptoms and identify your triggers, you should have no issues managing your fall allergies. Here’s everything you need to know in order not to sniffle your way through this beautiful season!
What are fall seasonal allergies?
Itchy eyes and nose, sneezing fits, and the sniffles? How could it be allergy season, again!? While most people associate seasonal allergies with springtime, the other peak season is right around the corner. Symptoms that crop up in the spring tend to get a lot more attention than those in the fall. But, fall allergies can cause just as much misery as their other seasonal counterparts.
Seasonal allergies, sometimes called the “seasonal allergic rhinitis”, are allergy symptoms that happen during certain times of the year, usually when outdoor molds release their spores, and trees, grasses, and weeds release tiny pollen particles into the air to fertilize other plants. Fall allergies are, thus, an allergic reaction to the pollen of plants that peak during the fall season.
Why do my allergies get worse in the fall?
Different plants emit their respective pollen at different times of the year. Depending on your allergy triggers and where you live, you may experience it during more than one season. If you are more sensitive to pollen that flares during fall, your allergy symptoms will probably get worse during this season.
Cool autumn air harbors irritants that can be just as unpleasant as pollen. Sadly, fall is also virus season, with increased chances of catching a cold or the flu. Since all of these are happening at the same time, it is often hard to tell what is due to seasonal allergies and what is due to infection. Sometimes, it might even be both. In many cases, fall allergy symptoms can be worse than their spring counterpart, since weed pollen is large and very buoyant, which means it can travel farther. So, in some sense fall pollen can be worse than spring pollen!
When do fall allergies start?
Ragweed, the most common culprit for fall allergies, releases its pollen throughout August into November, with peak pollen levels in the first half of September. Depending on where you live, ragweed-fueled fall allergies can start in August or September.
How long do fall allergies typically last?
Fall allergies typically flare during the weed pollen season. Ragweed blooms and releases pollen from August to November, meaning the pollen will usually last until the first frost.
What causes allergies in the fall?
Common triggers of seasonal allergies vary from one season to another. While tree pollen dominates during the spring and grass pollen during the summer, fall has a few allergy culprits of its own that can be particularly problematic. Keep reading to find out some of the most common fall allergies causes, that typically make you sniffle and sneeze.
Most common fall allergies causes
What is to blame for your sniffles and sneezes during fall? Here are the main culprits:
Ragweed is one of the main contributors to fall seasonal allergies. They’re invasive plants that are difficult to control. Their pollen is a very common allergen, and the symptoms of ragweed allergy can be especially severe.
Mold is another common allergen in the fall. Indoor molds grow in places with moisture, such as bathrooms, basements, and kitchens. Outdoor molds can grow on rotten logs and fallen leaves and can be especially bothersome during the fall season. Unlike pollen, mold doesn’t die with the first frost.
Dust mites are tiny creatures found in bedding, cloth, and carpets that thrive in humidity, therefore increasing in population during the fall season, which can cause fall allergy symptoms.
What allergens are high in the fall?
Ragweed may be the primary culprit of fall allergies, but it certainly isn’t the only one. When it gets rainy, grasses and weeds grow out of control depending on where you live. More weeds mean more pollen, a big cause of fall allergies, which affect up to 60 million Americans each year. Aside from the aforementioned most common causes of allergies in fall, this can include the following:
- Burning brush
What are the symptoms of fall allergies?
Seasonal allergies are fairly easy to identify because the pattern of symptoms returns at the same time, from year to year, following exposure to an allergen. While triggers differ depending on the pollen, climate in which you live, and the prior season’s weather conditions, the actual symptoms are quite similar. All seasonal allergies cause sneezing, itchy and watering eyes, a runny nose, as well as congestion. Symptom levels can fluctuate throughout the day, as well. Pollen is likely to be higher in the morning hours since gusts of wind spread pollen quicker throughout the day.
Most common fall allergies symptoms
So, the blooms of summer have faded, but your allergy symptoms are back. Although the triggers are different, fall can be just as troublesome for allergy sufferers as summer or spring. Here are some of the most common fall allergy symptoms:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Watery and itchy eyes
- Itchy sinuses, throat, or ear canals
- Shortness of breath
Fall allergies treatment
As beautiful as fall can be, it can also be agonizing if you’re prone to seasonal allergies. But, ultimately, there is no cure for allergies. But by arming yourself with allergy medication, preventative measures, and pollen forecasts, you can finally enjoy fall, rather than sneeze your way through it.
What is the best medicine for fall allergies?
Medication is also available to treat fall allergies symptoms, such as over-the-counter decongestants and antihistamines, eye drops, and prescription medications, such as steroid nasal sprays. Immunotherapy in the form of allergy shots or oral tablets, such as Immuno-Care, can also help you feel better by reducing the production of histamine and inflammation in your body.
How can I calm my allergies without medication? Tips for fall allergy relief
The best way to try to prevent allergy issues is to try to stay away from the things you’re allergic to. Unfortunately, that can be difficult when you’re allergic to weeds or pollen, which blow in the crisp autumn breeze. Try using a face mask when you are outside, especially before 10 a.m. Shower frequently, especially before bed. Keep your windows closed and use the air conditioner to circulate air.
Jack was born and educated in Ireland and U.K. He has a varied education, mostly in engineering projects. Since then he has worked with a number of major companies with interests in various parts of the world. His personal interests include athletics, cross country skiing and especially long distance running. Jack has competed in many running events and some at an international level, including many marathons. He has always had a keen interest in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. More recently he has specialized in the areas of health and supplements, with a special focus on the immune system.