Why Allergies Persist in the Fall

Itchy eyes in September? Watery eyes on Halloween? Allergies are only supposed to carry on through the warm months, right? While spring is the season best known for allergy problems, the truth is that allergies can be a problem year-round. This begs the question: Why? We asked around and did a little digging, and discovered a few reasons why some seasonal allergies carry on into the fall, even as the weather cools down. 

There are Different Allergens 

While fall doesn’t have the allergen lineup that the Spring does, there are three allergens in particular that pop up right around this time of year that cause many people lots of trouble: 

  • Ragweed. In fact, according to WebMD, 75% of people allergic to spring plants also have reactions to ragweed, so there’s a good chance if you have spring allergies, ragweed could be a problem for you this autumn.
  • Mold. Mold can also be an outdoor allergy trigger in the fall months. This is largely because piles of wet leaves can sit out and stay wet for long periods of time, which allows mold to start growing.
  • Dust Mites. When you turn your heat on for the first time of the year, it can potentially kick up many of the dust mites that have been growing in the deep dark corners of your home. 

Warm Weather That Just Won’t Quit

Now we’re not saying that an extended summer is necessarily a bad thing, but it does have one unintended consequence. While you might get a little extra time to enjoy warm, pleasant temperatures, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology that extra time can also mean elongation of the summer allergy season. So while you’re out enjoying the sun, don’t forget to bring your allergy medicine–and don’t forget to bring your sunscreen, too!

Allergens Lurking In Leaves 

We already mentioned mold, but that’s not the only allergen that can take up hiding in a pile of leaves. In fact, simply raking the leaves off of your yard can trigger allergies, as it can kick up pollen and mold lurking underneath. Our recommendation: wear a facemask when you go out to rake leaves, just in case!

Symptoms of Fall Allergies 

According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of fall allergies (also called hay fever or allergic rhinitis) include: 

  • Sneezing 
  • Itchy nose 
  • Itchy eyes 
  • Itchy roof of the mouth 
  • Runny and/or stuffy nose 
  • Watery, red or swollen eyes

Treating Fall Allergies 

How you treat allergies is entirely dependent on severity, but as allergies continue to become more and more severe, over the counter treatments might not always do the job. If you are experiencing symptoms that are more severe, it is best that you get in contact with your doctor to determine the best course of action for your specific situation. If prescription treatments do not alleviate your allergy problem, your doctor may recommend something more substantial, such as allergy shots or daily under-the-tongue allergy tablets.