After a scorching summer, fall is around the corner. Cooler temperatures will bring fall sports games, family gatherings in the backyard, and goodies like pumpkin and apple pie.
You might expect that since the blooms of summer are all faded, fall would provide relief for allergies. Like spring, however, fall can be a doozy of a season for allergy sufferers.
Ragweed is fall’s major pollen-maker. It begins releasing pollen in August when the nights are cool and the days are warm. Ragweed season may extend through September and October. People with an allergic reaction to plants in spring often react to ragweed in late summer and fall. Even if your area is free from ragweed, the pollen can travel hundreds of miles, carried by the wind. Sensitivity to ragweed also brings a reaction to some vegetables and fruits, including melon, bananas, and zucchini.
Mold may also trigger allergic reactions in fall. Mold spores thrive in wet spots outdoors, including piles of damp leaves that fell from the trees. Dust mites are another common trigger. While dust is common during the humid months of summer, it will be airborne the moment you turn your heater on for fall and winter.
Allergens cannot be eliminated in the fall, but there are ways of minimizing your exposure to them, including the following:
- Replace your pillows after using them for a couple years.
- Wash your sheets weekly using hot water. Wash your blankets every two weeks to eliminate dust mites.
- Use allergen covers on your mattress, pillows, and padded furniture.
It is difficult to distinguish allergy symptoms from those of the common cold, especially with children. Observe cold symptoms, and if they last more than two weeks, see a Phoenix allergy doctor for a diagnosis.
If you test positive for allergies, your physician can prescribe allergy shots or Phoenix allergy drops that can help you build immunity against the major allergens in the Valley of the Sun.