To Your Health: Fall Allergies

Sep 26, 2018

Fall has arrived! The leaves are turning colors, the air is getting cool and crisp…and you’re sneezing?

Allergies don’t just occur as things bloom in the spring and summer.

Fall allergies have different triggers than spring and summer allergies, but they can be just as annoying. Ragweed is a common culprit. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America report that 10 to 20 percent of Americans suffer from ragweed allergy or hay fever. Ragweed begins releasing pollen in late summer and continues almost until frost kills the plant.

The beautiful autumnal leaves that fall can also house another allergen: mold. Piles of damp leaves are ideal breeding grounds for mold.

When you turn on the heat for the first time on a chilly fall day, you may release dust mites which also trigger sneezes, wheezes and runny noses. 

Knowing your triggers is the first step in treating fall allergies. Look up local pollen counts online or call the National Allergy Bureau at (800)-9-POLLEN.

Folk remedies like eating local honey aren’t typically effective because most allergies aren’t triggered by the pollen found in honey. However, the sweet treat might help soothe the scratchy throat that allergies can bring about. Also, though it may sound tempting to move, allergists say that it is a short term solution. You’ll develop allergies to the plants in your new location within a few years.

Talk to your doctor about taking antihistimines which can reduce allergy symptoms or immunotherapy allergy shots to reduce the allergic response.

Brooke Hildebrand Clubbs is the Director of Health Communication at Southeast Missouri State University. 

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