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What causes fall allergies?

Allergies are still plentiful in the fall
Allergies are still plentiful in the fall
courtesty of everystockphoto.com

The summer months may be drawing to an end, but just because the flowers are fading doesn't mean allergies are. Most people associate allergies with the pollen in abundance through the spring and summer months. However, plenty of allergens still abound during the fall season. In order for allergy sufferers to better understand what they're up against, let's take a look at what the most common causes are.

Autumn Allergens
The number one contender during the fall season is, you guessed it, ragweed. This flowering weed begins releasing pollen into the air sometime in August, but may last well into the fall season. Even if you don't have ragweed growing in your immediate area, the pollen can still drift in your direction over a hundred miles away. Roughly 75% of people who suffer from allergies are strongly allergic to ragweed.


Inside of your home you are likely to react to the presence of dust mites. These microscopic insects peak in the summer time when humidity is high, but can become air born once again with the first furnace cycle. Dust mites can be blown into the air from the ducts, then inhaled through your nose which in turn triggers sneezing and runny noses.

Another prevalent allergen, found both inside and outside of the home, is mold. Not only is mold common in the damp recesses of a basement or bathroom, but can also be located in the massive leaf piles outside of your home. Leaf piles are one of the largest outdoor breeding grounds for mold, and once the piles are disturbed the mold sends spores into the air, ready to pounce on the next allergy sufferer.

How do I know if I'm allergic?
The best way to have allergies diagnosed is a quick trip to your doctor. Through using one of two types of tests, your doctor can pin point exactly what it is that your body reacts to, and then treat accordingly.

Treatments
The most common of symptoms i.e. runny nose, itchiness, and watery eyes, can be treated in several ways. Nasal sprays, a form of corticosteroid, can be useful in reducing any inflammation inside the nose. Antihistamines are widely popular due to their ability to block the histamines that cause allergy attacks in the first place, and are available in liquid, pills, and eye drops. For the mucus build up in the nasal passages, decongestants are found to be most helpful in alleviating congestion and swelling. Allergy shots are also a very common treatment, and can often work long-term by warding off allergy symptoms for up to a couple of years. Keep in mind that not every treatment works the same for each individual.

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