You might think that autumn would bring allergy reprieve. After all, most plants are no longer blooming, so there should be less pollen in the air, right? Unfortunately, some plants do release pollen in the autumn, and other things may be resulting in an allergic reaction.
In fact, some allergens can be found year-round. Even as autumn turns to winter, you could still suffer from allergic reactions. That’s why it’s important to figure out what you’re allergic to and then how to mitigate your allergies. Anyway, let’s take a look at the most common autumn allergens.
Ragweed, Scourge of the Autumn
The most common cause of fall allergies is ragweed, which is common in New York City. Ragweed often causes so-called “hay fever”, a common allergic condition. Ironically, hay fever has nothing to do with hay itself. In the 19th century, people believed that hay fever was caused by exposure to hay. Since hay is often cultivated in the late summer and autumn, people mistakenly associated their allergic reactions with hay.
If you suffer from spring allergies, there’s a good chance you’ll also react to ragweed. In fact, roughly three-quarters of those who suffer from spring allergies also react to ragweed. Many species of ragweed start to release their pollen in late August and may continue to do so well into October. While ragweed is the most common culprit, pollen from other plants could also be causing problems. Some grasses, trees, and other plants can release their pollen in the late summer and autumn. Further, plant pollen is far from the only autumn allergen.
Mold Can Occur Year-Round
Although ragweed is the most common cause of fall allergies, it’s far from the only one. Another common allergen is mold and the wet piles of leaves that pile up in the fall encourages mold to grow. If you find yourself with itchy eyes or have trouble breathing while raking leaves, mold may be the culprit. Mold spores are more likely to be released on humid days. Raking leaves can also stir pollen up. If you’re allergic to the pollen on the leaves, you’ll suffer a reaction. In New York City, the wind starts to pick up from October onwards. The increased wind could stir up resting mold and also pollen.
School is an Allergen Hotbed
If you have children heading to school, they may be exposed to allergens and they may drag them home too. Chalkdust and classroom pets often cause irritation. Some schools are quite dusty, as well, which could result in allergic reactions.
Food is another issue as other children may be bringing food to lunch that your child is allergic to. Many people are allergic to peanuts, for example, and many children love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. In fact, food, in general, is a common autumn allergen. Let’s take a look.
Food Allergies Are Always Common
Many different foods can cause allergies. Bananas, zucchini, wheat, and soy are just some of the many common food allergens. Then there’s shellfish, nuts, dairy products, and more. Our diets often subtly change as foods go in and out of season. If you find yourself reacting to food during a specific season, figure out how your diet has changed.
Pet Dander and Dust Can Be a Big Problem Indoors
Pet dander can also cause allergic reactions. While many people air out their house in the spring and summer, come autumn, closed windows become the norm. Unfortunately, that allows pet dander and dust to build up.
This will aggravate your allergies and could lead to more sneezing and other issues. A HEPA filter will help, however, there are better long-term solutions.
Treat Your Allergies This Fall
While fall allergens can be a big problem, allergies are often worse in the spring. Fortunately, you can undergo allergy immunotherapy during the fall or winter so you’ll be prepared come spring. First, however, you’ll have to undergo an allergy test to find out what you’re allergic to. So get in touch today with Immunotherapy NYC and let’s figure out what’s causing your allergies!