Fall Allergies?!

When we think of fall we likely are not thinking of allergies. However, fall allergies are still a challenge for about 75% of people that are allergic to spring plants. Ragweed is the most common but both mold and dust mites can be the culprit of runny noses, wheezing and sneezing.

RAGWEED

Ragweed, the most common trigger usually starts up in August as nights get cooler but can last into September and October. Keep in mind that may be adjusted due to our extensive hot months here in Florida. Even if ragweed is not in your immediate area, the pollen can be carried for hundreds of miles by the wind. In addition, certain fruits and veggies like melons, bananas and zucchini can activate symptoms.

MOLD & DUSTMITES

Most will agree that mold can sometimes be found in damp places like bathrooms. However, it can also be in piles of damp leaves that stack up in the fall. Those leaf piles are tons of fun to jump in but may not be the best idea for a child that suffers from allergies. On the inside of the house dust mites can also be stirred up when your heat is first turned on.

SYMPTOMS

  • Running nose
  • Dark circles under eyes
  • Water eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing

DIAGNOSIS

If you believe your child has allergies but aren’t quite sure the doctor can provide a test. Often the test consists of placing an allergen on the skin then a prick or scratch on the skin underneath. If there is an allergy present, a small raise bite will develop and itch similar to a mosquito bite.

TREATMENT

Avoiding annoying symptoms may seem hard to do. Fortunately, there are several types of medicines available to treat and alleviate.

·         Decongestants

·         Immunotherapy (oral tablets or shots)

·         Antihistamines – reduces sneezing, sniffling and itching

·         Steroid – reduce inflammation

REDUCING RISK

Limiting exposure to pollen by staying indoors and cleaning vents before turning on the heat can help reduce risk and severity of symptoms.

Allergies may be hard to completely avoid but preventative methods and risk reduction can help lighten the load.