Prevention, causes and health problems of seasonal fall allergies

By: Bel Marra Health | Allergies | Thursday, September 17, 2015 - 05:00 PM

Prevention, causes and health problems of seasonal fall allergiesAutumn is quickly approaching, bringing along seasonal allergies, and fall allergies can quickly become other health problems as well. Seasonal allergies are your immune system’s response to a foreign substance.

Fortunately, only some people get allergies and they can vary with the seasons.

Common allergies are ragweed, pollen, dust and mold, and different seasons can make these allergens much worse. Fall allergies can start as early as mid-September and last right through to the end of October. It may seem like a short span of time, but when you have fall allergies they can be the longest two months of your life.

Although fall allergies are a health problem in themselves, they can result in alternative health problems as well, so it’s important to keep your fall allergies under control.

How fall allergies cause health problems

How fall allergies cause health problemsAlthough allergies can present themselves as itchy eyes, runny nose and constant sneezing, allergies can also display as other health problems that, if you’re not paying close attention, could be misdiagnosed. Here are some other health problems which allergies have been linked to.

Chronic fatigue syndrome: Unexplained fatigue over the course of six months could be chronic fatigue syndrome. Although an exact cause is unknown for chronic fatigue syndrome, studies have shown nearly all of those who have the condition also have allergies. In this scenario, uncovering and treating the allergies can help alleviate the fatigue you feel daily.

Depression: Sure, allergies can have us feeling down, but in a three-year study symptoms associated with depression were worsened when allergies flared up. Another report revealed that individuals who received shots to treat their allergies were two to three times more likely to be diagnosed with major depression.

Sinus and migraine headaches: This health problem is more widely understood when our allergies flare up: we are congested, stressed and overall more tense. Allergens themselves can trigger sinus and migraine headaches. When an allergen is inhaled it can cause swelling or obstructions, making the sinuses unable to drain. This built-up pressure can result in headaches.

Fall allergies vs. spring allergies

Fall allergies vs. spring allergiesNot all allergies are the same, thus bringing us to the comparison between fall and spring allergies. Some individuals only have one seasonal allergy, while others may experience allergies in more than one season. It’s important to understand that fluctuations in the environment during seasonal changes can cause difference reactions.

The most popular spring allergen is tree pollen, and common fall allergens are ragweed and mold. Seasonal allergens reflect the changes in the environment; therefore, certain areas in the country will experience higher allergen levels than others. For example, Indianapolis received plenty of rain in June which will create an influx of ragweed by the fall, but a desert state like California won’t have issues with ragweed.

Furthermore, in the springtime there is more re-growth and pollination, whereas in the fall plants are dying-off prior to the winter, thus resulting in changes of allergens.

Aspects which are fairly similar between spring and fall allergies are the symptoms. Allergy symptoms include:

  • Fall allergies vs. spring allergiesRunny nose
  • Itchy eyes
  • Itchy ears
  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Dark circles under the eyes

People may experience these symptoms differently depending on the severity of the flare up.

List of most common fall allergies

If you start to notice you’re sneezing more and your eyes are starting to itch, but you’re not sure what is setting it off, here is a list of the most common fall allergens to pay attention to.

  • Ragweed
  • Other weeds – sagebrush, curly dock, goldenrod
  • Mold

Fall allergies prevention

Fall allergies preventionIf you don’t want your fall allergies to ruin fall for you, there are ways you can prevent them from taking over and making you miserable. Aside from over the counter allergy remedies, try some of these tips as well.

  • Avoid stepping outdoors when allergens are at their worst – check local news stations for pollen counts and wind speeds which can carry around allergens.
  • If you spend time outdoors, shower as soon as you come inside to remove pollen.
  • Keep your windows closed, and use either the air conditioner or a humidifier.
  • Dry your clothes indoors as opposed to outdoors.
  • Remove decaying leaves from the yard.
  • Wear gloves and a mask when raking up leaves.
  • Ensure air filters in your home are cleaned.
  • Manage your stress – studies have shown those who are stressed endure worsened allergy symptoms.
  • Consume honey to boost your immune system.
  • Eat onions for their antioxidant power.
  • Take probiotics as a means to boost your immune system.

The key to best prevention of fall allergies is to start early. If you know that by mid-September you will be clawing at your eyes, work on boosting your immune system all summer. If your allergies are really severe, speak with your doctor about options available to you.

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