As the pollen season wanes, why do I still have allergy symptoms? There are many factors, but one might be ragweed. Ragweed’s biggest allergy trigger is in the fall. Although it starts to release pollen in August, it can last into September and October. Ragweed symptoms can cause itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing and it can also trigger asthma. Pay close attention to Asthma and Allergy Associates daily pollen counts and avoid the outdoors when ragweed counts are particularly high. Try to stay indoors with windows closed. There are certain foods to avoid that can make ragweed allergies worse which include bananas, melons and cucumbers. Asthma & Allergy Associates also specialize in food allergies so contact us to find out more about the foods to avoid during ragweed season.
Per Dr. Soteres:
When I meet patients who were born and raised in Colorado they consistently tell me that the beginning of winter, the first freeze of the season, begins with Halloween. However, this assumption is all but certain nowadays. You see, the Fall pollen season has been steadily increasing in duration. Prolonged weed pollen season related to gradually rising temperatures and elevated CO2 levels have been documented all over the world. At Asthma & Allergy Associates, P.C., we are currently analyzing 35 years of data from our pollen counting station and the preliminary data seems to point towards a prolonged Fall pollen. This can be very tough on patients with weed pollen allergies. I think this is the number one issue that leads to increased allergy symptoms in the fall.
Other Reasons For Fall Allergies
Another issue is the return to school and the increase in viral infections. We refer to this phenomena as “The September Epidemic.” As children return to school and are together in an institution they are sharing many things, including germs. These germs, mostly viruses, lead to upper respiratory infections and can lead to worsening of asthma or other allergy symptoms. Viral infections are the most common predecessor to bacterial infections.
The Household Environment Changes With The Onset Of Cooler Temps As Well.
Someone who is allergic to dogs or cats may have been fine when the family pet was spending half the day outside. But, with cooler temps the pets spend more time inside and lose their summer coat. This can be both an allergic and an irritant factor leading to more symptoms. Turning the heat on in our houses can drop the ambient humidity to the single digits. This can lead to nasal symptoms that act like allergies, even though they are not.
When To Seek Treatment
If you are affected by a significant increase in nasal allergies then the first step to treatment is consultation with a board-certified allergist to identify the triggers and to develop a treatment plan.