Fall is officially here. The leaves are changing, the days are shorter and pumpkin-spiced lattes are everywhere. For some people, fall also brings an increase in allergy symptoms. If you are one of them, let’s take a look at what may be triggering your symptoms, as well as what can be done to find relief.
Fall Allergy Symptoms
Fall allergies cause the same symptoms as other seasonal allergies, including:
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Postnasal drip
- General fatigue
- Dry cough
- Scratchy throat
Common Causes of Fall Allergies
While spring allergies are triggered by tree pollen, fall allergies are often brought on by weeds. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the most common culprit for fall allergies is ragweed.
Though ragweed is most prevalent on the East Coast and in the Midwest, it grows almost everywhere in the United States, including Alabama. Ragweed usually releases pollen from August to November, often peaking in the middle of September.
Other plants that can cause fall allergies include but are not limited to, burning bush, pigweed, sagebrush and mugwort.
Additionally, mold can grow either in the home or outside in damp places like a pile of wet leaves. Other indoor allergens that might cause symptoms in the fall include dust mites and pet dander.
There are steps you can take at home to try and find relief from your allergy symptoms. Options include over-the-counter remedies like:
- Saline sprays
- Nasal steroids
- Eye drops
Additionally, after spending time outside somewhere like Madison County Nature Trail, make sure to change and wash your clothes when coming back into your home.
If mold or dust mites are causing your symptoms, make sure to clean and vacuum your home regularly, especially carpet and any upholstered furniture. You may also want to invest in a dehumidifier to prevent damp indoor conditions.
When to See an Allergist
If over-the-counter treatments and a change in behaviors aren’t enough to quell your fall allergies, make an appointment with an allergist. They can review your symptoms, perform a physical examination and run allergy tests if needed to identify your triggers. They may also recommend prescription medications to help control your symptoms.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, contact North Alabama ENT Associates today.