Summer is almost over, and many allergy sufferers are glad that the grass pollen is going away. Don’t get too excited though, fall brings us many other allergens. Many will still experience hay fever and asthma symptoms this season. While fall allergies are different than spring and summer, they are still very serious. Now is the time to prepare for the upcoming season.
What Are The Main Fall Allergens?
Ragweed is the main allergy culprit this season. It travels for hundreds of miles, making it a tough allergen to avoid. Ragweed season usually lasts until October, so prepare to sneeze for months if you’re allergic to this plant. Ragweed allergies also affect the fruits and vegetables you eat. This condition, known as oral allergy syndrome, means that foods grown near ragweed can give you an allergic reaction. Symptoms include an itchy mouth, scratchy throat, and swollen lips.
Mold and dust mites are other major fall allergens. Mold can be found indoors and outdoors. Humid conditions during this season help mold and dust mites grow and spread. Damp piles of leaves are favorite spots for mold to thrive.
How Do You Minimize Fall Allergy Symptoms?
There are many ways to minimize fall allergy symptoms. For ragweed allergies, wear protective clothing such as long sleeves, eyeglasses, and hats. This will keep pollen off your skin and out of your eyes, reducing allergy symptoms. You should also shower before bed each night to keep allergens out of the bed.
To reduce symptoms related to mold or dust mites, it’s best to use a dehumidifier. Since they thrive in humid environments, you need to reduce the humidity in your home. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of American recommends keeping humidity levels below 45 percent to prevent mold from growing. Also, change and wash your bedding every week in hot water to kill dust mites.
What Are The Treatment Options For Fall Allergens?
The best treatment option for any allergy is always avoidance. However, we understand that fall allergies are more difficult to avoid. For less severe allergies, we recommend over-the-counter allergy medications. Most antihistamines provide allergy relief for 24 hours. If your allergies are more severe, ask an allergist about allergy immunotherapy, a treatment in which a patient is injected with small amounts of an allergen on a regular basis.
Immunotherapy takes multiple sessions but greatly reduces allergy symptoms over time. The allergists at NY Allergy & Sinus Centers administer these shots in a safe and comfortable setting. Our allergists keep emergency medical supplies on hand in the event of a severe allergic reaction. If you are interested in beginning immunotherapy, call us today for a same-day appointment.
Meet The Physician Collaborator
Dr. Lisa Moreno is a trained allergist and immunologist who specializes in food allergies, asthma, sinusitis, and hay fever. She is board certified with the American Board of Allergy and Immunology and the American Board of Pediatrics. You can schedule an appointment with Dr. Moreno by calling 212-686-4448 or by visiting one of our seven locations throughout Manhattan and Queens.