People typically view spring and early summer as the top allergy seasons, but irritating allergic reactions can also occur during the fall. Yep—for some unlucky folks, allergy season lasts pretty much all year. Allergies can put a damper on this vibrant, festive season and prevent you from fully enjoying all it has to offer. If you want to avoid spending the next few months with watery eyes and a runny nose, identify the cause of your allergies so that you can make an effort to avoid potential triggers as much as possible. To help you out, I’ve compiled a list of some of the most common types of fall allergens.
One of the leading culprits of autumn allergies is ragweed. If you’re allergic to spring plants, there’s a strong likelihood you’re also allergic to ragweed. This allergy-inducing plant is a type of weed that grows prominently in areas all around the United States and that produces a fine pollen. In some cases, pollen from the plant can cause the immune system to have an inappropriate response. As a result, people may experience allergy symptoms such as itchy eyes, a runny nose, and excessive sneezing.
Currently, there are 17 known species of ragweed, which can grow anywhere from open fields to small cracks in the sidewalk. To reduce your exposure to pollen from the ragweed plant, try to limit your time outside. If you do spend time outdoors, consider wearing protective clothing such as long sleeves and sunglasses to reduce potential contact, and shower as soon as possible when you return inside.
Another common type of fall allergen is mold. This allergy trigger is particularly prominent during the fall due to the darker, wetter conditions of the season and the large quantities of debris that fall from trees. As leaves fall, they can accumulate in piles on the ground. If it rains, the piles can become wet and moist, which creates a perfect breeding ground for mold to grow. Once mold starts to grow, it may release spores into the air, which can trigger an allergic reaction in people who come into contact with them.
To reduce mold-related allergy symptoms, clean your gutters and rake your leaves regularly to prevent piles of debris from accumulating. Try to resist the temptation to jump into any large piles of leaves.
Last but not least, dust mites are another prominent fall allergy trigger. As temperatures cool off, you’ll likely start turning on your home’s heating system. A significant amount of dust may have accumulated inside your heating system’s ductwork after several months of disuse. When you turn on the heater, this dust will start to blow around the air in your home, and it may cause allergy symptoms.
Effective methods to decrease the presence of dust mites include cleaning your ductwork, upgrading your ventilation system, replacing your ventilation system’s filters, and cleaning the surfaces in your home regularly. Taking such measures to improve your indoor air quality will likely decrease the severity of your fall allergy symptoms and help you breathe a lot more easily.