Prepare yourself for the Fall Allergies Survival Guide: Causes, Symptoms, Remedies, Preventions. As a fall allergy sufferer myself, I created this guide to take us through the causes, symptoms, treatments, and how to avoid fall allergies for the whole season! Get ready to make Autumn great!
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What Are Fall Allergies, Are They Even Real?
Fall allergies are seasonal allergies that you experience in Autumn, and yes they are real. Fall allergies tend to start around September and do not end until late October or early November.
How Common Are Fall Allergies?
Fall allergies fall into the blanket term of “seasonal allergies”. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, over 50 million Americans experience allergies each year.
To get a fall allergies number, you could divide the 50 million (people) by the four seasons and come up with 12.5 million… but that isn’t necessarily accurate.
Autumn Allergy Causes
There are many factors that can cause you to experience allergies in the fall. Knowing the most common triggers will help you find out what is causing your symptoms.
Common Fall Allergy Triggers
The biggest fall allergy trigger is Ragweed. Ragweed pollen levels are the highest in late summer to early fall.
The AAFA.org reports that ragweed pollen affects up to 15% of the U.S. Population. Ragweed is found in most of the United States, as well as Canada.
If you suspect you have a ragweed allergy, read Ragweed Allergy: What You Need to Know
Depending on where you live, mold may be the reason for your fall allergy symptoms. Cooler temperatures and an increase of moisture from rain promotes mold and mildew growth
Fallen leaves are a common allergy trigger in Autumn, especially if you have an allergy to the tree. When the leaves fall, we play in them, get out the leaf blower, and possibly burn the pile of dead leaves. All of these can trigger your fall allergies.
Indoor allergens like dust mites, and even dander, can be worse in the fall months. In the fall the weather is getting chilly, so you turn on that potentially dusty heater.
The HVAC system is now blowing dust and possibly pet dander all throughout the house.
Additionally, we tend to stay indoors longer in the fall months, and depending on your specific allergy, this indoor time can make your symptoms worse.
Symptoms of Fall Seasonal Allergies
Seasonal fall allergy symptoms are the same as allergies in any other season. These symptoms include:
- Stuffy or Runny Nose
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Postnasal drip
- Itchy Throat
How are Fall Allergies Diagnosed?
Allergies including fall allergies are diagnosed by a physician, allergist, or ENT specialist. These medical professionals will conduct one of the following tests.
Allergy Diagnostic Tests
- Patch Test
- Bloodwork (IgE)
- Scratch Test (Skin Prick Test)
- Intradermal Skin Test
- Supervised Challenge Test
Knowing what is causing your allergies is a great starting point to knowing how to fix your symptoms as well as how to prevent them entirely.
Have a chat with your doctor to find out more.
Fall Allergen Remedies & Preventions
Fall allergy symptoms can usually be managed, and in some cases prevented altogether.
Here are some great options to consider when fighting fall allergies.
Natural Fall Allergy Home Remedies
A nasal rinse like a Neti-pot or nasal lavage uses natural saline to rinse your nasal passages and sinuses to flush out any allergens hanging out.
Take A Shower
Taking a shower when you come inside for the day or before you go to bed will rinse off the pollen trapped on your skin or in your hair.
Also, a steamy shower can help break up any mucus buildup and clear out those sinuses.
Wear a Mask
A mask when you are outdoors this fall will block a majority of mold spores and pollen from reaching your nose and lungs.
If you are seeing an increase in allergy symptoms when you are outside, this may be the quickest and easiest way to limit your symptoms.
Remember to wash your mask often to remove the allergens
Avoiding what you are allergic to is the #1 way to prevent fall allergies, it is also the hardest option to enforce. If you can do it, do it.
Cleaning and dusting will remove those pesky dust mites, dander, and pollen that are hanging out in your home.
Carpets are a massive collection area for allergens, ensure you are also vacuuming often.
I highly recommend a vacuum with a HEPA filter so you do not blow the allergens all around the house.
Here is a great-rated, and reasonably priced HEPA vacuum option.
Take off Your Shoes
Your shoes track in dirt, mud, and allergen! Taking off your shoes when you come into the house will keep allergens from spreading throughout your living areas.
Change Your Clothes
Clothes tend to be a nice and grabby surface for allergens to hang out. Changing your clothes when you come inside will keep you from contaminating the couch, bed, carpets, and rugs with pollen.
Additionally, changing your clothing will remove the allergens that are literally hanging out on your body, right under your nose.
Use A High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) Filter
A HEPA filter in your home will remove allergens like pollen, dust, mold spores, and dander that is in the air.
Our family has had great success with our WINIX HEPA filter. Check out my review here, WINIX PlasmaWave 5500-2 True HEPA Air Purifier Review
Fall Allergy Treatments
If you don’t currently take allergy medication, your doctor will probably start with an antihistamine to relieve your symptoms. Most fall allergies are caused by ragweed, here is the Best Allergy Medicine for Ragweed.
Congested, stuffy, or runny noses may find relief by taking a decongestant.
Immunotherapy isn’t for everyone but it does have a pretty good track record of working. Allergy shots can take years to be fully effective, but they may be worth a “shot”. I have been getting shots for 2 years now, and I have had a positive experience.
Steroid nasal sprays might be recommended by your doctor to help with sinus-like symptoms. These sprays take about 2 weeks to really show benefits.
Fall Allergy Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can fall allergies cause a sore throat?
Yes, fall allergies can cause a sore throat. Allergies tend to bring on a postnasal drip which can irritate your throat, this consistent mucus and irritation can cause your throat to be sore.
Can fall allergies make you tired?
Yes, allergies can make you tired. Constant immune system response to allergens can leave your body fatigued.
Can fall allergies cause shortness of breath?
Yes, fall allergies can cause shortness of breath. Allergic reaction symptoms can include trouble breathing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
Can allergies cause itchy skin?
Yes, fall allergies can cause itchy skin, but so can other factors like eczema, dry skin, and contact dermatitis.
Can fall allergies cause fever?
No, fall allergies cannot cause fevers. However, allergies can tax your immune system which may lead you to get sick more easily. Contracting an illness like the common cold or flu can cause a fever.
Can fall allergies cause headaches or migraines?
Yes, allergies have been linked to causing headaches and triggering migraines. Typically this cause is due to increased sinus pressure, or inflammation.
Can allergies make you feel sick?
Yes, allergies can make you feel sick. This is not a common symptom of allergies, but it is possible. As allergic reactions become more severe, feeling sick is more common.
Can fall allergies cause dizziness?
Yes, dizziness from allergies has been reported. Allergies can gunk up our inner ears, and the inner ear is responsible for keeping us balanced and dizzy-free.
Can fall allergies cause a dry cough?
Yes, a dry cough can develop from allergies. Another possible cause for a dry cough could be allergy medications.
Can fall allergies cause eczema?
Yes, researchers believe that eczema is caused by a combination of your body’s genes and exposure to eczema triggers. (like fall allergies).
Can leaves cause allergies?
Yes, if you have a tree allergy you may be allergic to its leaves as well. Burning, raking, or playing with leaves can cause allergies in the fall.
I hope my fall allergy survival guide has given you everything you need to begin thriving this Autumn. Don’t have a miserable season, use this information to take control and coast into the winter months.
Don’t forget to check out 17 Practical Ways to Prevent Fall Allergies for even more tips and tricks.