While most people associate seasonal allergies with spring, many people deal with seasonal allergies in the fall as well. If your body is sensitive to certain substances, then your immune system will work hard to fight it off when exposed by releasing histamine.

This battle leads to a lot of symptoms that may look different for different people. Some people may benefit from visiting with an ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor if symptoms are severe. Finding the common symptoms and locating the causes can help you manage your allergies and get back to enjoying fall.

Common symptoms of fall allergies.

Most symptoms of seasonal allergies occur in the eye, nose or throat areas. You may have watery, itchy or general irritation in your eyes. You may also see a runny nose or mild congestion in your sinuses. This can be accompanied by sneezing, headaches and an itchy throat. While these may seem like symptoms of a cold or the flu, it is important to note that allergies do not cause a fever.

While most symptoms are minor, there are more severe symptoms that can include rashes or hives on your skin. If you have asthma, you can see a spike in symptoms of asthma-like coughing or wheezing. You may even have trouble breathing. You should always contact your ENT doctor if symptoms persist or get worse over time.

Why do allergies happen in the fall?

Pollen and weeds get more unruly the longer the summers drag. The warmer temperatures that extend into fall are the perfect climate to help weeds and other pollen producers flourish.

While pollen counts usually drop at the beginning of September, sometimes extra rainy weather can lead to more weeds like ragweed and goldenrod. The more weeds grow, the more pollen gets released into the air. This leads to hay fever or fall seasonal allergies for more than 60 million Americans each year.

Mold can also become a bigger issue and contribute to seasonal allergies in the fall as well. Once the leaves start to fall and decay, mold starts to flourish as well. Breathing in the spores caused by mold can make asthma worse or cause seasonal allergies. This can cause upper respiratory issues.

Basements that become damp during the fall are a big source of allergy problems for some people. Putting a dehumidifier in your home and cleaning the filters in your home can go a long way towards mitigating your allergy symptoms.

Bad habits are aggravating your allergies.

While there is no escaping the weather and pollen counts outside, there are some bad habits you can avoid that tend to make your allergies worse.

The more time you are spending outdoors, the more exposure you are going to have to allergens. While you should get out and enjoy the fall weather, you should think about the time of day you enjoy your outdoor activities. Pollen counts are usually higher first thing in the morning. If you can postpone activities until a little later in the day, your allergy symptoms should be a little bit better.

You may also be tracking a lot of irritants into your house without even knowing it. Wearing a mask while you rake leaves can help prevent you from breathing in mold spores. Brushing pets down after a walk and tossing clothes into the washer when you first get home can also limit the number of allergens you drag into your home. You should also leave your shoes outside and close your windows on, especially windy days.

If you consult with your ENT doctor and are prescribed allergy medication, you need to be sure you are taking it consistently. It takes several days for allergy medication to start treating symptoms, so it can be hard to catch up once the allergy season starts. Try taking medication a week or two before symptoms usually set in to stay in front of your allergies.

You also need to keep taking your allergy medicine, even if you start feeling better. Since pollen counts vary from day to day, you may have a hiatus from your allergies mid-season. Don’t stop taking your medication! Consistency will help you to feel good all season long.

You can schedule an appointment and learn more about what you can do to fully enjoy the fall season by talking with an ENT Specialist at (402) 983-9948. Be sure to note when you feel the worst, a list of your symptoms and any treatments you tried in the past. You will also want to inform the doctor of your lifestyle and how that affects your allergies.