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Are Fall Allergies A Thing

How To Reduce Symptoms From Fall Outdoor Allergens

What Are Pollen Allergies and How Can You Manage Them?
  • Pre-medicate with an antihistamine and/or corticosteroid nasal spray 2 hours prior to allergen exposure. For eye allergies, use eye drops as needed.
  • Avoid pollens. In late summer and early fall, levels are highest in the morning. Pollen can also surge on windy, warm days and after a thunderstorm or rainfall. Limit time outside when pollen counts are high usually in the mornings through early afternoons.
  • Avoid fallen leaves. Kids might love to leap into piles of leaves in the backyard, but even just a playful kick can release millions of mold spores into the air and into your airways. If fall allergens leave your lungs wheezy and your eyes drippy, hire someone to clean leaves from your lawn, gutter or garden. Or ask a friend to rake your leaves in return for a free hour of babysitting or other task.
  • Change clothes when coming inside.
  • Wear a mask when raking leaves and doing outdoor activities.
  • Monitor pollen and mold counts. Airborne pollens can travel for several miles.
  • Keep windows and doors shut at your home close windows of your car while driving.
  • Take a shower, wash your hair and change your clothes after time outside.
  • Dry laundry indoors rather than on a clothesline outdoors.

Can You Recover From Allergies

Allergy symptoms can vary during a persons lifetime, depending on where they live and what theyre exposed to. If your primary issue is fall allergies and then you move someplace where pollen is less abundant, youll probably experience a drop in symptoms when autumn comes around.

Ultimately, there is no cure for allergies. But by arming yourself with allergy medication, preventative measures and pollen forecasts, you can finally enjoy autumn, rather than sneeze your way through it.

How Do We Know If We Have Allergies Or Asthma Vs Something Else

The typical symptoms of allergies are sinus congestion, runny nose, post-nasal drip, sneezing, coughing, and itchy or watery eyes. These symptoms are often mistaken for signs of a cold. If your symptoms return or worsen depending on the season, it could be allergies. Unlike the flu or the coronavirus, allergies and asthma do not cause a fever. While a fever can rule out allergies, if you have a fever, we would recommend contacting your primary care physician to determine if you may have the flu or COVID-19.

In late September, doctors often see a peak in hospitalizations due to asthma attacks, especially in children. In addition to the increase of allergens, as kids return to school, they can be exposed to more viruses that can trigger an exacerbation. It is important to ensure those with asthma continue to take their medication as prescribed. Summer often disrupts medication routines, so as children get back into the habit of school, it is an excellent time to get them back on schedule to help prevent hospitalizations due to their symptoms.

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What Can I Do If Allergens Or Other Air Quality Issues Are Especially Prevalent In My Community

Unfortunately, where you live can play a role in how air quality issues are dealt with publicly, leading certain communities to be more likely to suffer from allergies. There are known disparities among both Black and Latinx populations for allergies as well as asthma, says Dr. Parikh. The ability to for individuals to remove environmental triggers for allergies and access effective treatment is lower in these communities.

There is also is a genetic component in that if you develop allergies, your child is 50 percent more likely to develop an allergy as well, which means communities with higher rates of asthma and allergies are more likely to pass them to their children and contribute to that growth, says Dr. Parikh.

If you think youre dealing with an environmental issue beyond your control thats affecting your physical health, organizations such as Earth Justice and We Act for Environmental Justice can provide resources and information.

Masks May Help With Allergies

Yes, Fall Allergies Are A Thing and Here

Last year, one silver lining of wearing masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 was the prevention of other viruses, such as the flu. Its possible that wearing a mask outside may minimize your allergic reaction to ragweed. Of course, this would require you to wear a mask the entire time you are outside. On the flip side, wearing masks indoors remains one of the most effective ways to prevent COVID-19 transmission.

Be sure to wash your mask after each use if you wear it outside, to eliminate any allergens that you may have brought in from outdoors.

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Fall Allergies Will Be In Full Force Across Parts Of Us

Summer is just beginning to wind down and already the scent of pumpkin spice can be smelled wafting from some coffee shops. However, as residents are preparing for a season filled with apple picking, pumpkin carving and colorful leaves, it won’t be pumpkin spice and everything nice for everyone. As seasonal festivities kick off, fall allergies will also be back in full force across parts of the nation, affecting millions of Americans, AccuWeather forecasters say.

Meteorological autumn officially begins on Sept. 1, and astronomical fall begins on the day of the fall equinox, which will take place on Sept. 22 this year.

Fall allergies are typically triggered by ragweed, and the pollen from these types of plants that are common in North America can travel as far as the wind carries it. Another cause of fall allergies is mold, which can grow in piles of damp leaves.

According to the U..S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , ragweed is one of the largest producers of pollen and the largest contributor to seasonal allergies in autumn. One ragweed plant can produce billions of pollen grains every year. About 23 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies, commonly known as hay fever, due to the effects of ragweed, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology .

“The drought may be a bit of a help to the pollen season in the Southwest, though, as the lack of rain is hindering any weed or grass from growing,” Reppert explained.

What Are The Symptoms Of Fall Allergies

  • Watery, itchy, or generally irritated eyes
  • Runny nose or nasal congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Aggravated asthma symptoms, including coughing or wheezing
  • In severe cases, trouble breathing or anaphylaxis

Its important to note that fall allergy symptoms overlap with the common cold, flu, or COVID-19. One distinguishing factor for allergies: They do not cause a fever.

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Fall Allergy Season Amidst The Covid Surge

Fall allergy season is upon us – as COVID is surging in our communities. Cold and flu season wont be far behind and overlapping symptoms may cause confusion and concern for some.

Seasonal allergic rhinitis symptoms can include sneezing, running nose, nasal congestion, headaches, itchy/irritated eyes, and scratchy throat. Fall pollens and molds can also aggravate asthma symptoms like coughing and wheezing. If youre experiencing these symptoms, some which overlap with COVID-19 symptoms, please consult your healthcare provider.

Some early reports suggest the COVID-19 Delta variant might be acting differently in terms of symptoms, especially in the younger generation. Also, in breakthrough cases for those vaccinated, milder symptoms can make it even more difficult to differentiate between allergies, a cold, or COVID.

Atlanta Allergy & Asthmas allergists are stressing the importance of getting and keeping allergies and asthma under control as we enter this upcoming season. Respiratory viruses are the most common trigger for asthma exacerbations. Well-controlled allergies and asthma can help reduce the chance of severe complications due to a respiratory illness. The better your baseline health, the better you are able to fight any infection or stressor that comes your way.

Clean Air Filters Regularly

Fall Allergies: Indoor & Outdoor Culprits

Allergens can cause buildup not only in your nose but also in your homes HVAC system. Your air conditioners filter is a key component in keeping your home allergen-free. Air filters collect particles in the air that trigger allergies, however when theyre full of dust and dirt they dont pick up much of anything.

To defend your home from allergens, you should always check and change your air filters. Ideally, filters should be changed at least once every other month so that your family can breathe fresher air.

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Common Indoor Allergens In Pennsylvania

Some of the most common indoor allergens here in Pennsylvania come from sources such as:

1. Dust

Dust lasts all year round and is hard to avoid. In the fall, dust particles can get stirred up from the wind, accumulate from skin cells, or come about in dry weather. For example, fall is the beginning of the holiday season, and going in and out of your home to complete small tasks can bring in dust from outside, which triggers your allergies.

2. Pet Dander and Dust Mites

Dust mites are small little insects that live indoors. They typically cant be eradicated by simply vacuuming or dusting your home. They stick to fibers and can live deep within your carpeting, triggering your allergies no matter the time of year.

Since dust mites can thrive in humid environments, having your homes thermostat set to 70°F and above can help keep them at bay.

What Are Thesymptoms Of Covid

We dont know all of the symptoms of COVID-19 yet, but at thispoint in the pandemic, we do have a better idea of some common ones. The Centersfor Disease Control and Prevention says coughand shortness of breath or difficulty breathing are indicators, as are fever, chills, repeated shaking withchills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell.

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How Do You Manage Ragweed Allergies

Pay attention to weather forecasts

There are a couple of reasons to keep an eye on the weather for today and the coming days. The first is pollen counts. You can also check these online at a place like pollen.com. We talked at length about these in our spring pollen blog, so we wont dive too deep here.

Pollen counts, or pollen index, can vary based on many weather factors though, so some days outside will be way worse than others. The forecasts take these into account to give you an accurate idea of how prevalent the allergy threat will be each day.

Generally speaking, the mid-day hours are the worst for ragweed. Going for that run or bike ride at dawn or dusk is a good idea if you have a fall pollen allergy . The wind is also responsible for driving up pollen counts. A consistent breeze will push pollen grains into the air and stop them from settling. So avoid windy days for your outdoor activities.

Also, keep an eye on rain in the forecast. Rain is the best thing for a pollen allergy. It washes pollen out of the sky and washes away pollen on the ground that can be resuspended in the air. If youve got an outdoor activity planned this fall, see if you can schedule it for the day after a rain. Youll be a lot happier and healthier spending time outside because of the sudden decrease in pollen counts.

Take medicine

Keep pollen outside

Remember that pollen can also be carried into your home on your clothes, body, or pets.

Using Your Hvac System To Combat Allergies

Fall Allergies

As the seasons change, allergies tend to stick around, even as the weather gets cooler around fall. Fall allergies can affect you inside your home, just like they do when youre outdoors.

Luckily, using the right tactics, you can combat fall allergies inside your home as well as improve your overall indoor air quality. Our Pennsylvania technicians want homeowners in the area to be able to find a little relief and lessen allergens in their homes. Keep reading to see how you can rid your home of allergy triggers, understand common causes of indoor allergens, and how to remove them.

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What Are Allergies And Asthma

An allergy is an immune reaction when your body mistakes a harmless substance, like pollen, for a harmful one. The body releases a substance called histamine, which can cause a runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, itching, hives, and wheezing when released into the body. In some cases, reactions can occur in several places throughout the body. Welts or hives may appear, spasm in the lungs may cause coughing or wheezing, the throat, and tongue may swell even anaphylaxis may occur. Common allergens that may trigger allergies are pollen mold, animal dander , food, and medications.

Allergies can be a trigger for people with asthma. Allergic asthma is the most common form of asthma, a chronic lung disease. Many things can trigger asthma, and the first step, when diagnosed, is to determine what triggers to avoid. Triggers could include smoke, stress, exercise, or cold air. These are things that dont bother most people, but these triggers can make the inflammation worse for those with asthma.

What Are The Different Ways To Treat Allergies

  • Avoid or reduce exposure to weeds, trees, grasses, molds, or other allergens. Monitor the pollen count especially if you’re planning to spend time outside.
  • Use nasal spray. Over-the-counter options include Flonase, Rhinocort, and Nasacort. Prescription sprays are available through your allergist.
  • Oral medications include over-the-counter and prescription allergy medications and antihistamines.
  • Immunotherapy, usually done through allergy shots.

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Pethonesty Products To Help With Fall Allergies

When youre ready to reach for allergy support for your dog this fall, try Allergy Support+ Chews. Theyre soft, chewy, Vet-recommended, and seriously supportive for your pet thanks to a blend of ingredients that help out your dogs immune system. They include foods like Colostrum, probiotics, Quercetin, and more all designed to work together to help your pet with seasonal allergies. Or choose Hemp Allergy SkinHealth Chews. They contain an ingredients list thats packed with skin-supportive ingredients, including hemp, which is incredibly helpful for supporting your itching, allergy dog.

What Are The Best Treatments For Fall Allergies

Fall Mold Allergies Abound
  • Antihistamine eye drops, pills, and nasal sprays. These are usually an effective treatment option for eye and nose symptoms, with nasal steroids and nasal antihistamines often being the most effective.
  • Nasal corticosteroids. These reduce swelling in the nose to target symptoms like congestion. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America calls these “the most effective medicines for nasal allergies.”
  • Prescription inhalers. If youre dealing with allergic asthma, its worthwhile to visit an allergist who can potentially prescribe an inhaler to help with symptom relief.
  • Prescription creams. If you have a skin rash or itchiness, there are various topical OTC and Rx corticosteroid creams available that can treat the rashes based on how severe your symptoms are.
  • Allergen immunotherapy. This is the best way to reduce allergies over time and minimize symptoms by making you less allergic. Allergen immunotherapy involves exposing yourself to larger amounts of an allergen to desensitize or train your immune system to stop being allergic over time, says Dr. Parikh. These are done via injection or tablets that are placed under the tongue. Your doctor can help you determine if this is a good option for you.

Dr. Parikh recommends avoiding oxymetazoline treatments such as Afrin because they could start a cycle of congestion, basically making you more congested later, as well as cause other side effects.

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How To Avoid Fall Allergies

Avoiding fall allergies is often easier said than done. After all, with work, family, and a social life, you can’t shut yourself in with antihistamines and a box of tissues.

Instead, you have to be strategic in how you approach allergy season by taking certain, basic precautions. Among them:

  • Check the local pollen and mold counts on the daily weather report.
  • Keep your windows and doors shut at home, especially on days when the pollen count is high.
  • Shut the car windows and air vents when driving.
  • Use a HEPA filter and/or air humidifier to keep airborne pollen levels low.
  • Vacuum floors, surfaces, and furniture regularly, ideally with a pet-friendly vacuum cleaner designed to suck up dust, dander, mites, and other tiny particles.
  • Wear a NIOSH-rated 95 filter mask when mowing the lawn or doing outdoor work.
  • Take a shower and change your clothes after youve worked or played outdoors.

Finally, if you have a history of fall allergy symptoms, speak with your doctor or allergist about daily medications or allergy shots you can take to lessen the impact of the season. While allergy shots typically need to be started a few months before your worst allergy season in order to best deter symptoms, nasal corticosteroid sprays work within a couple of weeks and antihistamines work within minutes.

Tidy Up Pet Dander & Fur

Pet dander is comprised of dead skin that is shed by animals in the home. Up to 40 percent of people with seasonal allergies also have pet allergies. Pet allergies are triggered by an extra-sensitive immune system reacting to dander, fur, saliva, or urine from pets.

Some dog breeds cause more reactions than others. Saint Bernards and bulldogs are among the worst offenders. Cats are twice as likely as dogs to cause allergic reactions in people.

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How Common Are Fall Allergies

An estimated 15% to 30% of the U.S. population is thought to have allergic rhinitis. Youre more likely to have fall allergies if you have:

  • Eczema.
  • Other seasonal or perennial allergies.

All people are different, but often people with allergies are sensitive to multiple allergens spring, fall and perennial, Dr. Aronica says. Sometimes, though, we do see patients with only a few sensitivities or with symptoms only in one of the seasons.


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