Autumn Pollen Allergy

 

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Autumn Pollen Allergy

October 15, 2014

 

 

What symptoms do pollen allergies cause?

Though pollen can cause a wide variety of allergy symptoms including hives and eczema, most people with pollen allergies develop respiratory symptoms such as allergic rhinitis and asthma.

 

What is allergic rhinitis?

Hayfever is the more common term for allergic rhinitis. Patients typically have problems with itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing and post-nasal drip.

 

Which pollens cause autumn allergies?

Typically weeds pollinate in August and continue until October or November. The most common weeds in this part of the country include Ragweed.

 

I have a lot of weeds around my house. Will getting rid of them help me?

Typically, pollen will travel hundreds of miles. Since you cannot get rid of all pollinating plants in such a large region, plant removal near the home can only provide limited benefit. However, you should avoid large pollen exposures.

 

How can I decrease my exposure to pollens?

Since plants pollinate with the sunrise, one should try to sleep with the windows closed. Also avoid going outdoors at times when the pollen counts are high (typically during mid-day). There are other interventions that may be helpful in diminishing your exposure to pollens that your allergist can help you with.

 

Are there other important outdoor allergies that get worse this time of year?

There are some molds that send out spores in the Autumn. These mold spores grow on outdoor vegetation and the most prevalent ones are called Alternaria and Cladosporium.

 

Do indoor allergies get worse in the Autumn?

Yes, they do. Many environmental conditions within the typical American home cause worsening indoor allergies. The important allergens in this situation include animal danders/proteins and dust mites.

 

How can I get relief for my Autumn allergies?

As with all illnesses, you have many options for treatment. Many patients find that once they find out what they are allergic to, they can institute adequate avoidance measures to get relief. Other people require additional treatment options such as medications or allergen immunotherapy (allergy shots) in order to feel better.

 

When should I see a specialist?

An Allergy/Immunology specialist can help you identify exactly which allergens you are sensitive to. With this knowledge, you can implement allergen avoidance measures. Of course, in order to start allergen immunotherapy, your allergist will need to identify your allergic sensitivities.

 

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