What Triggers Fall Mold Allergies
While people with mold allergies can have reactions at any time, there are a large number of potential triggers associated with late fall. First and foremost, fallen leaves dampened by autumn rains offer the perfect conditions for growing mold. As the leaves begin to decompose, they become more and more conducive to mold growth.
While leaves are the major drivers of mold allergies in the autumn, there are also other sources. Rotting pumpkins, for example, are often covered in mold. Likewise, cornstalks displayed as decorations can start to grow mold when they get wet.
Its important to understand, though, that it isnt the mold itself that triggers respiratory allergies. Instead, its the spores that molds release in order to reproduce. When a person with mold allergies breathes in these spores, he or she can develop coughing, sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes and other common allergy symptoms.
Common Seasonal Allergy Triggers
If you sneeze and cough during certain times of the year, you may have seasonal allergies. However, occasional allergies arent something you just have to live with.
In many areas of the United States, spring allergies begin in February and last until the early summer. Tree pollination begins earliest in the year followed by grass pollination later in the spring and summer and ragweed in the late summer and fall. In tropical climates, however, grass may pollinate throughout a good portion of the year. Mild winter temperatures can cause plants to pollinate early. A rainy spring can also promote rapid plant growth and lead to an increase in mold, causing symptoms to last well into the fall.
The most common culprit for fall allergies is ragweed, a plant that grows wild almost everywhere, but especially on the East Coast and in the Midwest. Ragweed blooms and releases pollen from August to November. In many areas of the country, ragweed pollen levels are highest in early to mid-September.
Other plants that trigger fall allergies include:
- Burning bush
- Sagebrush and mugwort
- Tumbleweed and Russian thistle
While the timing and severity of an allergy season vary across the country, the following climate factors also can influence how bad your symptoms might be:
Find expert care with an Allergist.
An allergist can pinpoint the cause and help you find relief.
When Do Seasonal Allergies Hit Their Peak
Seasonal allergies start as early as February when trees begin to pollinate. This is followed by grass pollination in the spring and summer months. Climate and weather changes can also dictate how fast plants begin to pollinate. For instance, large amounts of rain in the spring can spur on more rapid plant growth, which leads to an increase in mold another big allergy trigger.
In the fall, ragweed largely reigns supreme as the key contributor to allergy symptoms. Though they only live for one season, one ragweed plant can produce up to one billion pollen grains! This can last from early August and all the way to October. Mold also occurs in the fall, as it grows underneath damp piles of leaves.
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What Triggers Fall Allergies
As mentioned, Ragweed is the biggest allergy trigger in the fall. Though it releases pollen in August, it can last through October. For some people who are allergic to ragweed, certain fruits and vegetables can also cause allergy symptoms: sunflower seeds, certain potatoes, cucumber, banana, cantaloupe, zucchini, honeydew, and watermelon. Mold is another fall trigger and can be found both indoors and outside. It may be present all year long, but it thrives and grows in damp piles of leaves during autumn months. Dust Mites are the last fall allergen on this list and are a year-round indoor allergen as well. They typically only thrive indoors however, they are a seasonal fall allergy because they can get dispersed into the air when you first turn on your heater, making ones reaction more severe.
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Is It Allergies Or A Cold
Sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference between allergies and the common cold. There are more than a hundred strains of cold viruses. Each tends to become widespread at certain times of the year, which is why you may mistake a cold for a seasonal allergy. Allergies occur at the same time every year and last as long as the allergen is in the air . Allergies cause itching of the nose and eyes along with other nasal symptoms. Colds last about one week and have less itching of the nose and eyes.
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How Can I Treat My Allergies
There are many medications you can use:
Steroid nasal sprays can reduce inflammation in your nose.
Antihistamines help stop sneezing, sniffling, and itching.
help relieve stuffiness and dry up the mucus in your nose.
Immunotherapy in the form of allergy shots or oral tablets or drops can also help you feel better.
You can buy some allergy medications without a prescription, but talk to your doctor to make sure you get the right one. nasal sprays, for example, should only be used for 3 days. If you use them longer, you may actually get more congested. And if you have high blood pressure, some allergy drugs may not be right for you.
About Loyola Medicine And Trinity Health
Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic healthcare systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 94 hospitals, as well as 109 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $18.3 billion and assets of $26.2 billion, the organization returns $1.1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity employs about 133,000 colleagues, including 7,800 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity is known for its focus on the country’s aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care servicesranked by number of visitsin the nation, as well as the nations leading provider of PACE based on the number of available programs.
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What Are The Treatments For Allergic Rhinitis
The first and best option is to avoid contact with substances that trigger your nasal allergies . When prevention is not enough, consider using over-the-counter or prescription medicines:
- Antihistamines are taken by mouth or as a nasal spray. They can relieve sneezing and itching in the nose and eyes. They also reduce a runny nose and, to a lesser extent, nasal stuffiness.
- are taken by mouth or as a nasal spray or drops. They help shrink the lining of the nasal passages which relieves nasal stuffiness. These nose drops and sprays should be taken short-term.
- Nasal corticosteroids are used in nasal spray form. They reduce inflammation in the nose and block allergic reactions. They are the most effective medicine type for allergic rhinitis because they can reduce all symptoms, including nasal congestion. Nasal corticosteroids have few side effects.
- Leukotriene receptor antagonists block the action of important chemical messengers other than histamine that are involved in allergic reactions.
- Cromolyn sodium is a nasal spray that blocks the release of chemicals that cause allergy symptoms, including histamine and leukotrienes. This medicine has few side effects, but you must take it four times a day.
Nasal allergy symptoms may disappear completely when the allergen is removed or after the allergy is treated. Talk to your pharmacist and health care provider about what is best for you.
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Dust Mite Allergy Treatments
Your doctor will likely recommend an antihistamine or some other over-the-counter allergy medication to keep your dust mite allergy symptoms in check. You may also need a long-acting or rescue inhaler if you have asthma that is impacted by dust and dust mites.
While they cant be completely eliminated, the dust mites in your home can be reduced.
Air filters dont work very well with dust mites because they are heavier and fall to your carpet. Other allergens tend to float in the air. That said, proper home ventilation does help because it keeps dust from settling in general.
While it isnt possible for everyone, living in a home without carpeting is one of the best changes you can make to reduce dust mites. Otherwise, use allergen-friendly mattress and pillow covers and wash them regularly.
You can also try reducing the clutter where dust can settle, and dusting throughout your home on a regular basis.
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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.
Fall Allergies In Atlanta
Ragweed is the villain of the Autumn months. Three out of four people who are allergic to pollen are also allergic to ragweed. Its abundant in the South, North and Midwest, and especially in the Atlanta area. At one time, Atlanta had the distinction of being one of the top ten worst places to live with allergies. Fortunately, we no longer can brag about that honor, but allergy seasons here can be pretty brutal.
Ragweed pollens peaks between August and October, until the frost begins to appear. The more windy and wet autumn is in your area, the more the pollen spreads
Falls rain and wind can also ramp up mold. The fungi grow and produce spores that, like pollen, are spread by the wind or indoor air. It tends to grow year-round but in the fall, they grow on damp fallen leaves. They thrive in damp areas indoors like basements, bathrooms and kitchens. Unlike pollen, mold isnt killed by the first frost.
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How Can I Tell If My Symptoms Are Allergies Or Covid
Before you stress out, know that there’s one positive aspect when it comes to allergens in the year 2021: “Masks mean less inhalation of pollen through the nose or mouth, and that may translate to decreased symptoms for some sufferers,” explains Manisha Relan, MD, a board-certified allergist. Noted!
That said, if you’re worried about telling the difference between symptoms, whenever they do arise, listen up: The COVID and allergy symptoms that typically overlap are headaches, wheezing, and sore throat. It’s also possible to experience nasal congestion, a runny nose, and sneezing with COVID, too, though these are more commonly allergy symptoms. A dry cough, shortness of breath, and loss of smell, are all likely COVID-19 symptoms, though there’s always the possibility that these are the side effects of allergies.
Overall, though, if you’re having trouble telling if your symptoms are allergies or COVID, your best bet is to check in with a doctor’s office or urgent-care center.
What Are The Symptoms Of Severe Allergies
Those with allergies often experience these allergy symptoms:
- Sinus Congestion
- Itchy or Watery Eyes
These symptoms are also very similar to that of a cold, so we have many patients ask, whats the difference between a cold and allergies?
Dr. Warrier talked to Lexingtons ABC 36 about the difference between a cold and allergies. Many of the symptoms are the same you have the nasal symptoms, the congestion, watery drainage, the sneezing, so many of those symptoms overlap. However, with a cold, that is caused by viruses whereas with allergies the reason you have those symptoms is your bodies immune system is responding to the pollen, mold, or dander that you are breathing in.
So while the symptoms are similar, the cause of the symptoms are different and so is how you manage it. Cold symptoms can last for a few days to a few weeks. Allergies symptoms last a lot longer and are recurrent, so many notice their symptoms come back during the same time of year.
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What Are Some Common Misconceptions About Allergies And Asthma
One common misconception about allergies is that its all in your head. However, allergies are a legitimate medical condition and occur due to a response by your immune system. Another misconception is that once you react to something, youll know how your body will respond in the future. Its important to see an allergist who will determine if it was an allergic reaction. If you have, there is a potential for a more severe reaction, like anaphylaxis, in the future. Our physicians can determine if it was an allergic reaction, provide treatment options, and prescribe an epinephrine auto-injector to use if you have a more severe reaction.
Asthma is limiting. Not true! Those with controlled asthma can exercise and enjoy their life as they want. Its important to take medication as prescribed to help keep your asthma under control. There are many athletes who even complete in the Olympics who also have asthma. Another misconception for asthma is that the medications are dangerous. Inhaled medicines that treat inflammation are the safest and most effective means of treating asthma. Untreated asthma can lead to loss of lung function.
One of our goals at Family Allergy is to remove the limitations, to the greatest extent, that allergies and asthma can place on our patients and give them their lives back. Scheduling an appointment for allergy testing can be the first step towards finding relief.
How Are Fall Allergies Diagnosed
According to Dr. Moss, the appearance of traditional allergy symptoms around the end of August or September every year is a pretty good indicator of fall allergies. One simple way to diagnose fall allergies is to treat them. “If someone’s symptoms improve with allergy treatment, you can feel pretty confident that they are symptoms due to fall allergies,” he says.
Another way to confirm allergies is to visit an allergist for a test. While some allergists do blood tests, Dr. Masood says allergy skin-prick testing is the gold standard. This skin-prick test is used in conjunction with a person’s medical history to figure out exactly what they’re allergic to.
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Sometimes, it can be difficult to differentiate between a viral illness and allergies, but there are a few key things to look out for. According to Dr. Sindher, allergies rarely come with a fever, which is a symptom more commonly associated with a viral illness. And Dr. Masood says allergies are more likely to present at a specific time of year and last for weeks rather than several days, which is the typical length of a cold. “When symptoms linger, it’s more likely that you have allergies rather than the common cold,” she says. And, of course, if you are worried that you have COVID-19 for any reason, it’s important to get a test and continue following all safety protocols.
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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:
- Itchy sinuses, throat, or ear canals
- Shortness of breath
How To Treat Fall Allergies
There are several pillars to treating seasonal allergies, says Ellison. These include:
- Avoidance. If possible, avoid going outdoors as much as possible during the fall season if you’re triggered by plants that pollinate in the fall. Ellison says that if you do go outside, you should take a shower to wash off any pollen and reduce the chance of carrying allergens indoors.
- Medication. Antihistamines like Claritin or Zyrtec help block the body’s allergy response, relieving symptoms such as a runny nose, itchy eyes, and sinus decongestion. Nasal sprays like Flonase can also provide relief for nasal congestion or a stuffy nose.
- Allergy immunotherapy. These are allergy shots or allergy drops. They’re a long-term solution for allergy symptoms, but they may not be right for everyone. For more information, read about whether allergy shots are worth it for you.
- Surgery. Ellison says surgeries, like , can help those who don’t get relief from medication. These surgeries can help people breathe better.
There are also many natural remedies for allergies that can help relieve your symptoms. Ellison suggests trying saline washes or spray, which is a salt-based solution designed to clear away mucus from the nasal passages and moisturize the area.
A 2018 study found that saline sprays can help alleviate allergic rhinitis in adults and children, when compared to those not using saline sprays.
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Narrowing Down The Cause
One key to finding the cause of your rash is to observe how long the rash persists. A rash that keeps coming back may be related to hay fever, rather than temporary exposure to something.
Also, what time of year does the rash normally appear? If you notice youre developing recurring rashes consistently during certain seasons , it may be related to the pollens of that season. This is known as seasonal allergies.
Note that allergic reactions arent limited to the pollens in the spring. Fall allergies are common and, in some areas, trees and certain plants grow in the winter and summer that can cause skin irritation. Ragweed and grass can cause hay fever during spring and summer, the two best-known seasons for allergy problems.
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