Watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, headaches: Welcome to fall for allergy sufferers. Yelena Kopyltsova, MD, an allergist at ENT Allergy & Associates in Purchase, offers tips and advice on how to minimize and treat symptoms.
What are the most common fall allergies?
Ragweed is one of the biggest offenders. People who have pollen allergies can have oral allergy syndrome, in which certain fruits and vegetables (bananas, melon, honeydew, and zucchini) cause itchy mouth or throat and lip swelling. Damp leaves can harbor mold spores. For
many allergy sufferers, raking leaves can be an issue. The symptoms range from congestion and itchy eyes to coughing and difficulty breathing.
What are the differences between fall and spring allergies?
Dust-mite allergies start to become an issue
again in the fall. In spring, most of your heavy hitters are outside. During fall, you have to deal with both indoor and outdoor allergens.
When does fall allergy season typically begin and end?
Ragweed can start pollinating as early as mid-August and will last until the cold weather settles in. Rising temperatures in the fall can prolong allergen season beyond October.
What are the best ways to prevent and treat allergies?
When outdoors, wear glasses or sunglasses to keep pollen out of your eyes. A filter mask can help you mow the lawn or work in the garden. Always take a shower, wash your hair, and change your clothing—otherwise, you’ll bring pollen into your house.
What OTC meds do you recommend?
Begin your medications before the worst of your symptoms start. Eye drops that contain antihistamines can relieve itchy and watery eyes. For severe allergies, try a nasal spray, but don’t expect symptoms to vanish right away. Since they can have side effects, use the lowest dose that controls your symptoms.