Fall Allergies Can Bring On Symptoms That Resemble A Cold
Originally published by Women’s Health on July 27, 2020.
If you’ve ever dealt with allergies of any kind, you know how much of a pain they can be. Seasonal allergies can be especially annoying and uncomfortable when you just want to enjoy your morning run or afternoon dog walk. If you think you’re in the clear once you’re well past spring when so many flowers are in bloom, we’re unfortunately here to break some bad news. Fall allergies are also a thing, and their symptoms can wreak as much havoc as any other time of year. (Ugh.)
What causes fall allergies?
The main difference between fall and other seasonal allergies are outdoor triggers like ragweed pollen, something that is only in the air in the fall (typically late August through whenever your region experiences winter frost), explains Purvi Parikh, MD, an allergist-immunologist with Allergy & Asthma Network in New York City.
Mold may also be present in the air in higher concentrations as leaves fall during this time, plus, it can grow on the piles of fallen leaves you’ll find outdoors.
What are the symptoms of fall allergies?
Fall allergy symptoms are pretty similar to any other time of year. Here’s what to look out for:
- Cough. With allergies, you’ll generally experience adry cough, says Dr. Parikh. If your cough wakes you up or keeps you up at night, see a board-certified physician, as you may be developing allergic asthma, a form of asthma caused by allergies.
- Itchy and watery eyes. Usually both eyes will be affected and can also swell, or the skin under the eyes can become dark fromcongestion.
- Nasal symptoms.You may experience a stuffy or runny nose, as well as sneezing and itching in your nose, says Dr. Parikh.
- Sore throat. Secretions can drip from your nose down the back of your throat, causing a post-nasal drip, as well assoreness or itchiness in your throat.
- Skin irritation. Fall allergens can irritate the skin and cause itchy rashes likeeczema or hives.
- Ear irritation. Clogged ears, ear pain, and itchy ears are also common with fall allergies.
- Breathing problems. “Many people don’t realize the most common form of asthma is allergic asthma,” says Dr. Parikh. “If you’re experiencing coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest pain, or chest tightness, you likely are experiencing allergic asthma, and I would recommend seeing a physician or seeking medical attention asap.”
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