Here we are in the month of September, looking forward to welcoming autumn with open arms. Surprisingly, you’re wondering why you’re still sneezing! Before blaming your watery eyes and runny nose on a cold, try finding out if you suffer from hay fever. The American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology states that the fall is primetime for hay fever for a large portion of the 50 million Americans suffering with allergies.
What’s making me sneeze?
Contrary to popular belief, seasonal allergies still rear their ugly heads during the fall. Ragweed is the most common trigger during this time of year. Ragweeds tends to release pollen from its yellow flowers during the month of August, and can continue to release pollen throughout September and October.
Mold is also a common trigger for allergies in the fall. Most people may think of their homes, or more specifically the basement, as a source of mold ingestion. However the mold culprit may be sitting in your own backyard. Piles of leaves left for long periods of time on the lawn or driveway can quickly develop mold — particularly with the constant fluctuations in temperature.
Dust mites continue to be a problem in the fall as well. As the temperatures drop, people rush to their thermostat to turn on the heat. The warm air stirs the dust mites around triggering an allergic reaction to those within breathing range.
Fall allergy symptoms
Symptoms of fall allergies can include:
- runny nose
- watery eyes
- itchy throat
- dark circles under the eyes
Visiting an allergist to properly diagnose the source of your allergies is the first step to moving towards relief. What you can expect from Dr. Z. at Riviera Allergy Medical Center is to first understand what your symptoms are along with your medical history. Depending upon your circumstances, Dr. Z may prescribe a skin or blood test. A skin allergy test is when the allergist places the allergen on your skin and pricks it. If an itchy, red bump resembling a mosquito bite develops, then you are considered allergic to that substance.
What are my fall allergy treatment options?
Treatment options can include over the counter medications like antihistamines, decongestants, or eye drops. If none of those options seem to do the job, you may be able to opt for allergy shots or prescription nasal sprays.
There are other things you can do to manage your hay fever symptoms during the fall.
- Check your local pollen count. If the pollen count is high, do your best to stay indoors with the windows closed.
- Clean your heating vents. Before turning on your heating system, be sure to clean your heating vents. Mold and other allergens can easily get trapped in the vents and will be distributed in the air once the heating system is on.
- Swap out your old filter for a HEPA filter. HEPA filters remove mold, dust, and other particles from the air.
- Utilize a humidifier. A humidifier can help make your breathing easier.
- Wear a mask when raking leaves. A mask will keep you from breathing in mold spores while doing yard work.
About RAMC: Located in Redondo Beach, CA. Riviera Allergy Medical Center (RAMC) provides a medical facility for a wide range of allergy and asthma related conditions, from nasal allergies and hay fever to skin allergy conditions and scalp eczema. If you or your children are in search of seasonal allergy relief, skin allergy treatment, sinus problems or headaches, or have shown signs of an ibuprofen allergy, you are encouraged to contact the team at RAMC. The office also may be contacted by phone at 310-792-9050. Visit the site at http://RivieraAllergy.com
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To schedule an appointment, please call our office at 310.792.9050 or use our online Request an Appointment form. For additional information on any condition, treatment or procedure, please visit our Health Education Library.