If the pollen season is over, why do I have allergy symptoms? The main factors that are affecting people with allergies and allergy-like symptoms in the fall are: Global climate change and rising Carbon Dioxide in the environment, increased viral infections, more exposure to indoor allergens and non-allergic factors like low humidity, irritant (non-allergic) factors like wood burning fireplaces and pollution as well as changes in barometric pressure.
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.