Summer is almost over. Next up is fall or autumn as some folks like to say. The equinox brings autumn on September 22, at 4:44 P.M EDT this year. Just as you are mostly over your summer allergies, you have to face the fall allergy season.
It’s not unusual for people with allergies to experience the lowest incidence of allergies and asthma during the summer months. Of course, when you feel better, you stop taking your allergy medications.
Now is the time, early September, to get back on those meds. Taking medication before symptoms start is a good way to ward them off. If you wait until your symptoms are in full swing, it’s a lot harder to stop the allergic reaction than if you had started treatment before the symptoms appeared.
An estimated 35 million Americans suffer from allergies. In the fall, conditions begin in late August and peak in September. If you have fall allergies, three triggers typically occur:
- indoor allergens and
Ragweed is one of the biggest perpetrators for fall allergies. It releases pollen into the air, continuing until the plant eventually dies from frost.
Ragweed causes an allergic reaction commonly called hay fever and results in symptoms that include itchy eyes, nose and throat, sneezing, stuffy or runny nose, tearing or dark circles under the eyes.
Allergy symptoms are caused by the immune system overreacting: the pollen or other allergy trigger is mistaken as a foreign object and is attacked, and chemicals called histamines are released into the blood stream. Our bodies’ natural histamine receptors attract the additional histamines, which causes them to swell. It is the inflammation that causes many common allergy symptoms.
Another trigger for allergies during the fall is because people stay indoors more and are therefore exposed to allergens like pet dander, dust and mold. There are several precautions you should consider:
- Maintain an allergen free environment at home as much as possible.
- Concentrate on your bedroom: keep your pets out, get rid of the rug because it collects dust and avoid using feather pillows.
- Make sure the fireplace is always well-ventilated.
- Keep damp areas like bathrooms clean and dry to avoid mold growing.
- Before you turn on the heater for the first time each winter, have your heating system cleaned to avoid dust mites.
Infections and the flu affect the body’s immune system and cause it to release antibodies and histamines to fight them off. Getting an annual flu shot is even more important for people who suffer from asthma or other lung conditions.
If you or someone you love suffers from allergies, contact our allergy & sinus specialists to make an appointment today. Typically, there’s no reason for people with allergies to suffer as long as they take the proper precautions.
Staying on top of your allergies will enable you to enjoy the beautiful fall weather and make the most of family time at home.
We are very excited to be able to offer ENT services in Lake City!