6 Remedies for Fall Allergies – Cleveland Clinic

You’re stuffy and constipated, your eyes are watering and your nose is running… ah, it must be autumn! As beautiful as fall can be, it can also be painful if you’re prone to seasonal allergies.

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Allergist Mark Aronica, MD, talks about fall allergies, including the causes and how to deal with them.

What Causes Fall Allergies?

Fall allergies fall under the category of allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, which occurs when your body’s immune system reacts to inhaled airborne pollen. It can cause:

  • Accumulation.
  • Itchy eyes.
  • Running nose.
  • to sneeze.
  • Post-nasal drip (that feeling of constantly having to clear your throat of mucus).

Allergic rhinitis includes seasonal allergies — the ones that arrive at the start of a particular season — as well as allergies you have year-round, known as perennial allergies.

“Perennial allergens are year-round and include people who are sensitive to animal dander (such as cats and dogs), as well as dust mites, cockroaches and mold, which are also considered year-round allergens,” explains Dr. . Aaron out. “Seasonal allergens include the spring and fall pollens — and spring allergens also include trees and grasses.”

How common are fall allergies?

An estimated 15% to 30% of the US population suffers from allergic rhinitis. You are more likely to have fall allergies if you:

“All people are different, but often people with allergies are sensitive to multiple allergens — spring, fall, and perennials,” says Dr. aronica. “However, sometimes we see patients with only a few sensitivities or with symptoms only in one of the seasons.”

The most common fall allergies

It’s such a beautiful season, but you can’t seem to stop sneezing. So what is it that you are actually allergic to until?

“Fall allergens are generally weeds,” says Dr. aronica. It breaks down some of the most common allergens this time of year.

Ambrosia

The most common fall allergen is ragweed, a member of the daisy family that begins blooming in late August in North America and lives through fall.

The flowers of ragweed produce significant amounts of pollen, making it a particularly potent allergen. A single ragweed plant can release up to a billion grains of pollen!

Other seasonal weeds

Ragweed may be the main culprit of fall allergies, but it’s certainly not the only one. Other weeds associated with allergic rhinitis include:

  • cockle.
  • Lamb quarter.
  • Mugwort.
  • Nettle.
  • Pigweed.
  • Russian thistle.
  • Wormwood.
  • tumbleweed.

How to deal with fall allergies

The best way to avoid allergy problems is to try to stay away from the things you are allergic to. “The mainstay of therapy is avoidance,” says Dr. aronica.

But that can be difficult if you’re allergic to pollen, which blows in the fresh fall breeze and precipitates on everything in its path. He explains how to combat fall allergies.

Avoid pollen

You don’t have to lock yourself in and skip the season, but some preventative measures can reduce the chance of itchy eyes and a runny nose.

Close your windows

Open windows welcome pollen. In the fall, when your allergies are high, use your home’s air conditioning or heating if possible (depending on the outside temperature).

Wash your hands and face

Who doesn’t love fall activities like apple picking, hiking trick-or-treating? As fun as they are, they all expose you to pollen.

After being outside, make sure you wash your hands and face when you go back inside, this will help remove any pollen left behind.

Get changed

It’s not just your skin: pollen even settles on your clothes! In addition to washing yourself up, consider putting on an outfit that is free of pollen, which will keep the sneezes farther away from you.

Delegate yard work

Someone needs to mow the lawn, but if possible, avoid outdoor chores that trigger allergens, such as weeding and raking leaves.

Wear a mask

The pandemic is not the only reason to wear a face mask! Covering your mouth and nose with a mask can also prevent pollen from making contact.

Home remedies for fall allergies

While the steps above will help you get in touch with fewer pollen, it is almost impossible to avoid pollen completely. If you’re still sneezing, seek help from science and head to a drugstore or pharmacy to try over-the-counter medications designed to relieve your allergy symptoms.

“Many allergy medications are safe and now available over the counter, including nasal steroid sprays such as fluticasone and triamcinolone, and the long-acting, non-sedating antihistamines such as loratadine and cetirizine,” says Dr. aronica. “These drugs are generally very good at controlling most allergies.”

Take your allergy medicine before your allergies get worse, especially on days that are expected to have a lot of pollen. Local news stations and online weather websites provide pollen forecasts that can help you stay informed.

When to see a doctor

If you’re doing everything you can but still can’t sniffle and sneeze, it may be time to see an allergy specialist for additional help.

“We can do a skin test to identify a patient’s specific allergens and determine if there is extra pollen or if they have a residual allergy,” says Dr. aronica. “If you might be interested in allergy shots, that’s only something an allergist can provide.”

Allergy shots — also called allergen immunotherapy or subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT) — are a way to slowly reduce your sensitivity to certain allergens, which can significantly reduce your symptoms. But they’re usually a long-term therapy used only after you’ve tried everything else.

And as dr. Aronica points out, not all runny noses are due to allergies. A skin test will also show whether you do indeed suffer from allergies. If not, you know to seek ongoing medical input to find out what is causing your symptoms.

Can you “recover” from allergies?

Allergy symptoms can vary throughout a person’s lifetime depending on where they live and what they are exposed to. If your primary problem is fall allergies and you move to a place where there is less pollen, you will likely experience a drop in symptoms as fall approaches.

Ultimately, there is no cure for allergies. But by arming yourself with allergy medication, preventative measures, and pollen forecasts, you can finally enjoy fall, instead of sneezing your way through it.

6 Remedies for Fall Allergies – Cleveland Clinic

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