As fall gets underway, it’s the season for football, somewhat cooler temperatures, and unfortunately, fall allergies. We often think of seasonal allergies as occurring during the spring and summer, but fall allergies are also common.
They have different triggers, but can affect just as many people. It’s estimated that more than 36 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies, including fall allergies.
In this blog, the allergy specialists at DFW Sinus Select will explain the most common fall allergies.
What are the most common fall allergies?
Ragweed is the most common fall allergies trigger, with 17 varieties of the plant growing in North America. It often starts to release pollen in August and lasts into September and October. Just one plant can product a billion pollen grains each fall, which are light enough to travel up to 400 miles in the wind. The fact that it spreads so easily means that even if you or your neighbors don’t have it in your yards, it can still blanket an area and make you miserable.
It’s abundant in many parts of the country and often peaks in mid-September. The majority of people who are allergic to spring plants also are allergic to ragweed.
Many other plants – including goldenrod, cocklebur, Russian thistle, lamb’s quarters, pigweed, sheep sorrel, and sagebrush – can also cause fall allergies.
Outdoor molds are another common cause of fall allergies. They can form in early spring and last until the first frost, especially in hot, humid climates. Their spores can be found in soil and leaves that cover the ground during the fall.
How can I protect myself from fall allergies?
If you have fall allergies, you should be particularly cautious on windy days and during the late morning.
The following precautions can help minimize your exposure to some of the triggers that are causing your fall allergies:
- Stay indoors with your doors and windows closed when allergens are at their highest.
- Use a face mask if you’re outside, particularly if you’re raking leaves or doing other yard work. This is especially true between 5 and 10 a.m. and on windy days.
- Take a shower after you’ve been outside so you can wash pollen from your skin and hair. Changing and washing your clothes can also help, since allergens can accumulate on what you’re wearing.
- Keep your windows closed in your car and home and turn on the air conditioner. When you first turn it on in your car, leave the windows open and avoid breathing the air for several minutes until mold spores can disperse.
- Dry your clothes inside the dryer instead of hanging clothes outside.
- Have decaying leaves removed from your yard and gutters.
- Clean your heating vents and change your air filter before turning on your heat for the first time. Otherwise, trapped molds and other allergens can be spread into your home.
What are the symptoms of fall allergies?
If you have symptoms like sneezing, wheezing, coughing, watery eyes, itchy eyes and nose, and dark circles under your eyes and they get worse in the fall, you probably have an outdoor fall allergy.
The majority of people who have fall allergies experience some of these symptoms, including sleeping issues, being tired, and having poor concentration.
Where can I find treatment for my fall allergies in the Dallas/Fort Worth area?
DFW Sinus Select is a practice that’s dedicated to the care, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders related to the nose and sinuses. We provide state-of-the-art specialty medical care, utilizing the complete spectrum of diagnostics.
Our specialists will accurately diagnose your fall allergies or other issues that are causing your symptoms and offer the latest minimally invasive treatments for the nose, sinuses, and allergies.
We’re committed to helping you find relief and to providing the personalized, compassionate care you need.
Schedule an appointment with DFW Sinus Select today to get relief from the symptoms of common fall allergies