Confused as to why you’re suffering from allergies during the fall? It’s not as uncommon as you think. While most people think of the spring as the peak allergy season, the fall contains just as many allergens in its air. Here, we breakdown one of the most common reasons for fall seasonal allergies and some of the different ways to treat them.
So, what about the fall is causing so many people to suffer from allergies? It’s ragweed. Ragweed is a plant that grows all across America, especially on the east coast and the Midwest. It’s pretty much impossible to avoid. Ragweed plants produce a lot of pollen, and bloom primarily between August and November, with pollen production peaking around mid-September. Symptoms of ragweed allergies include:
- Runny / stuffy nose
- Irritated – itchy eyes
- Itchy throat
- Coughing or wheezing (Most common in people with asthma)
(Source: acaai.com )
Ragweed allergies can be treated with regular over-the-counter or prescription allergy medications. For severe cases of ragweed allergy, an allergist can either administer allergy shots to build up your immune system or can prescribe special medication.
Ways to help avoid ragweed includes:
- Checking the pollen count in the morning. (it’s usually available on weather reports. It can also be found here at pollen.com)
- Keeping windows closed, if possible, especially in the mornings, when ragweed pollen count tends to be the highest.
- Changing your clothes after being outside, taking showers at night, and washing your hands after petting an animal that has been outside. This is because pollen tends to stick to clothing, people, and animals.
- Wearing a filter mask when doing outdoor chores like mowing the lawn or raking leaves.
- Drinking a lot of fluids, especially if you feel congested. Fluids help loosen mucus in the nose and throat.
- Use steam to help clear a stuffy nose or head. Steam from a hot shower, a store-bought steamer, or holding your face close to a steaming bowl of water all work well. Even drinking hot tea (especially peppermint) can help, being a natural relief from congestion, as well as providing a bit of steam.