When you think of allergies, you may think of springtime. However, the fall and winter months have their own unique allergens that may cause reactions. It's important to understand the common causes of these allergies.
When thinking of fall, a vision of orange, yellow, and brown leaves comes to mind, but you may have a different perception if you suffer from fall allergies. If fall foliage gives you itchy eyes, a runny nose, and sneezing, then you are most likely experiencing allergic rhinitis. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, allergic rhinitis is caused by airborne mold spores or pollens that cause your immune system to react. Even though this reaction may seem to appear when the leaves begin to fall, you are most likely reacting to mold, which is attracted to the piles of damp leaves.
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, ragweed pollen is one of the most common allergens that cause seasonal allergies, especially from mid-August until the first freeze. Ragweed is a common flowering plant throughout North America. The plant doesn’t begin to pollinate until mid-August. If you are allergic to this particular pollen, you may experience allergy symptoms during these later months.
Although this primarily affects school children, common irritants found in the classroom can affect anyone who comes into contact with them. These irritants include chalk dust, pet dander, or cleaning chemicals. Although these irritants and allergens can have the same effect as their outdoor counterparts, they can also cause severe reactions. That’s why it is best to have emergency medications available if you or your child has a severe allergy.
- Monitor pollen and mold counts
- Wash your hands
- Take medication
- Wear a mask
- Fall leaves, ragweed and school allergens are the most common causes for fall allergies. See your doctor if your allergies become intolerable
How to avoid allergies
Monitor pollen and mold counts
If you are worried about allergies outside, it is best to watch the counts of your allergen triggers via a weather report or weather app. That way, you can avoid outdoor activities, keep doors and windows closed, or prepare beforehand with allergy medication if counts of pollen or mold are high. Wash your hands If allergies tend to cause your eyes to get itchy, regularly washing your hands can prevent it. Itchy or uncomfortable eyes from allergens are caused when you rub your eyes after touching said allergen. You can avoid this altogether by keeping your hands clean with soap and water.
Over-the-counter medicines for allergies are available at most pharmacies and are effective at minimizing mild allergy symptoms. Depending on your preference or symptoms, they are offered in various forms, such as oral medication, nasal spray, or eye drops. Many allergy medications can or should be taken on a daily basis to keep allergies at bay. Talk to your pharmacist about the right medication for you to help avoid symptoms and unnecessary visits with the doctor.
Wear a mask
When outdoors completing tasks that could trigger allergies, it is best to wear a mask. These activities include mowing the lawn, raking leaves, or gardening. This can help you easily avoid inhaling any allergens.
See an allergist
If your mild allergies aren’t effectively treated with an over-the-counter or lifestyle solution, it may be time to see a doctor or allergy specialist. They can help you identify what is causing your allergies and help find the right treatment. To find a doctor or location, click the Find a Doctor button at the top of ascensionpersonalizedcare.com. From there, you will be able to see a list of in-network doctors and locations. You will also have the option to filter your search results by location, specialty, accepting new patients, language, gender and more.
Whatever your sensitivities, being prepared for allergies is the best way to prevent reactions no matter the season. Checking the weather, washing your hands, and having medications on hand in case of an allergy flare-up are just a few options available to help prevent or ease symptoms. However, speaking with a doctor is the best option to help you develop the right plan for you.