The Sneeze

Fall Allergy Symptoms

September 7, 2021

By: Katie Lacy, CNP

Get Ahead of Fall Allergy Symptoms

With Labor Day slated as the official end of summer, it is past time to treat those fall allergy symptoms. Fall allergy symptoms begin mid-July and last through the first frost. If you are feeling as if your fall allergy symptoms are occurring earlier every year, you’re right! Due to climate changes, you could be suffering from symptoms much earlier in the season.

Don’t Let Fall Allergies Leave You Down

The three most notable ways to treat fall allergy symptoms are through avoidance measures, medications to treat symptoms, and immunotherapy to treat the underlying condition and provide long-term relief.

Avoidance

  • Pollen needs to be kept out of your house whenever possible. While it is nearly impossible to avoid all pollen, dust, mold, and pet dander, limiting your exposure by taking certain precautions is paramount. Some ways to avoid fall allergens include; Leaving your shoes at the door, changing clothes and showering after spending time outside, washing pets regularly, using your air conditioner rather than opening car and house windows, replacing furnace filters or purchasing an air filtration device are all preventative measures that can help limit allergen levels in your home. 

 

Medication

  • Getting a jump start to treat fall allergy symptoms will play a pivotal role in successful management of triggers. Fall allergy triggers in the Ohio region are known to start as early as July and run until the first frost. Take control of your symptoms by taking your antihistamine medications about two weeks before symptoms normally start and continue taking your allergy medications until the pollen count has decreased for at least two weeks. Using a daily intranasal steroid spray, like Flonase, will be helpful in keeping sinusitis or sinus inflammation, caused by hay fever away. And for those watery, itchy eyes, try an antihistamine eye drop.

 

Immunotherapy

  • Immunotherapy, known as allergy shots, is a natural approach to treating allergy symptoms. Research has clearly demonstrated the effectiveness of allergy shots for both allergic rhinitis and asthma. Allergy shots retrain or modify the immune response by desensitizing your own body’s reaction to specific allergens like pollen, ragweed, mold and many more. Allergy specialists provide immunotherapy by injecting small doses of specific offending allergens to gradually build up your body’s immune system. The process will retrain and reduce your reaction to the offending agents, limiting your allergy symptoms. This approach to treating allergic rhinitis reduces symptom severity and the need for allergy medications, offering long-lasting relief. 

Fall Friends and Foes

  • Weed pollen and mold spores are the most significant allergy triggers in the fall season.  Ragweed is the most common fall allergen in our region and is well-known to cause seasonal allergic rhinitis. The fall season will bring cooler, but windier days, which is the perfect vessel to carry pollen from ragweed, trees, and grasses for more than 50 miles away. Fall often leaves us with a runny nose, itchy, watery eyes, sneezing and coughing.  During ragweed season, just one plant has been known to release a billion grains of pollen into the air. The season begins to release pollen as early as July and can last into October. Roughly 75% of people with spring-time allergies will also have allergy symptoms when exposed to ragweed. 


  • As the leaves fall, mold counts begin to rise due to the outdoor growth on logs and fallen leaves. You might also notice symptoms year-round due to damp, indoor areas like your bathroom or basement. This frequent foe for fall allergy sufferers is mold, mildew and other fungi. Mold spores are commonly abundant in fall and can be found anywhere there is water, and they travel through the air readily in windy and humid environments. Allergic reactions to mold occur through inhaling these airborne spores. Spores can be found in your dark and damp basement, from a leaky faucet under your sink, or in a pile of dead leaves in your backyard. Measures to reduce mold include moisture control, cleaning up any standing water right away, scrubbing visible mold from indoor surfaces with bleach and water, and by keeping the humidity in the home low, below 60  percent.  

  • Finding relief in your fall allergy symptoms can be found at your nearest Premier Allergy and Asthma location. We specialize in treating you, your family, and friends with allergy and asthma problems. Our board-certified allergists, experienced nurse practitioners and friendly office staff are devoted to addressing the underlying issues of allergies and asthma.


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