Sneezing with Sniffling? It Could Be Fall Allergies, Not A Virus

The summer flowers have withered now that autumn has arrived. Why are you suddenly sneezing and sniffling when Autumn is typically allergy-free for you? Is a cold settling in for you?

Perhaps, but it’s also possible it won’t. Seasonal allergies continue to be frequent throughout the fall, reducing the season’s otherwise ideal weather and spectacular foliage. Because the beginning of cold and flu season coincides with the beginning of allergy season, it might be difficult to determine the origin of your fall congestion.

Understanding the difference between a cold and fall allergies might help you treat your symptoms effectively.

How do allergens in the fall bring on symptoms?

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, when you have seasonal allergies, your immune system is trying to fight off a material you are sensitive to by generating histamine, which then causes unpleasant symptoms (AAFA). Certain types of mold, pollen, and weeds become more abundant at the end of summer and can have an impact on your mood come fall.

Among the allergens that tend to proliferate in the fall are:

  • Fall allergies are typically brought on by ragweed. The onset of ragweed season occurs in late July and continues through about the middle of September. It’s possible that your allergies aren’t to Ragweed specifically, but to the pollen it produces, which can travel hundreds of miles on the wind. Seventy-five percent of those who are allergic to spring plants also react negatively to ragweed.
  • Weed There are additional plants whose pollen could be triggering your autumn allergies. For certain people, pollen from plants including the burning bush, cocklebur, pigweed, sagebrush, tumbleweed, and goldenrod might trigger an allergic reaction.
  • Aside from pollen, mold is a typical fall allergies trigger. When conditions are right, mold and mildew can flourish and spread by airborne spores. These fungi thrive in the cool, moist conditions of autumn, making them common in compost heaps, leaf piles, and even some rooms in your own home.
  • Dust mites, a type of tiny arthropod, can be found in nearly every dwelling and survive off of human skin flakes and other debris that has been shed. When the temperature outside drops, the first few times you turn on your heater of the season can stir them up inside.

Symptoms of COVID-19 and fall allergies – how do they compare?

Symptoms of COVID-19 and fall allergies, such as a cough, a runny or stuffy nose, and difficulty breathing, may be similar. However, there are a few key distinctions between the two states.

Numerous cases of COVID-19 are characterized by a high temperature of 100.4 degrees or above. To put it simply, a fever is not an allergy sign.

Another typical sign of COVID-19 is a sore throat, though people with allergies are less likely to experience this symptom.

COVID-19 has the potential to cause gastrointestinal distress, including sickness, vomiting, and loose stools. Allergic reactions rarely cause gastrointestinal symptoms.

The transmission of COVID-19 is a key distinction from allergies. While allergies cannot be passed from person to person, the COVID-19 virus may.

Solutions for Seasonal Allergies in the Fall

There are some easy measures you may take to reduce the quantity of pollen you bring inside your house.

  • When pollen counts are high, as they tend to be on sunny, windy days, it’s best to keep the windows closed and take off your shoes at the door.
  • After getting home, you might want to freshen up with a shower and a change of clothes. Indoor air quality can be improved by using a HEPA air filter to get rid of mold spores and pet dander.
  • If you have pets, you should try to vacuum more regularly, preferably every day.
  • Keep pets out of the bedroom to prevent them from tracking pollen onto your pillow and consider washing your sheets frequently.
  • Wearing a cap and sunglasses, which help prevent pollen from getting into your eyes, is a good idea while venturing outside.
  • Medication is another important resource. Intranasal steroid sprays like fluticasone and triamcinolone, available without a prescription, can help reduce nasal congestion and coughing.
  • To alleviate symptoms such as irritation, redness, and watering, try using some eye drops. Although oral antihistamine medications can reduce symptoms, including itchiness, sneezing, and a runny nose, these focused approaches are typically more effective. 
  • Decongestants may be useful for some people.
  • Without resorting to medication, you can clear your sinuses of pollen by using a nasal irrigator.

Allergies to fall: when to see your doctor

Your allergy problems should not be interfering with your life so much that you can’t think about seeing a doctor. He can evaluate your allergies and give you tests to find out what kinds of pollen are causing your symptoms. 

Allergy injections, which contain small doses of the allergens to which you are sensitive, are one type of immunotherapy that may be recommended by your doctor for more permanent relief from your symptoms.

Intranasal immunotherapy is an alternative to injections for people who are allergic to ragweed, dust mites, and northern pasture grasses like timothy. 

Conclusion

Distinguishing between allergies and the typical cold is often difficult. It’s easy to confuse a cold with seasonal allergies because both are common during specific seasons of the year.

Before drawing any medical conclusions, you should talk to the best ENT specialist about the specific reason for this.

FAQs

1. Why do allergies get worse in the fall?

Mold thrives on decaying leaves, much to the chagrin of those who suffer from allergies, and the spores it produces are released into the air. Tiny spores are generally to blame for allergy symptoms like stuffy noses, runny noses, sneezing, and watery, itchy eyes.

2. What do fall allergy symptoms look like?

Ragweed allergy symptoms include a stuffy nose, watery eyes, itchy eyes, sneezing, a scratchy throat, and nasal congestion, just like tree pollen allergy symptoms. Patients with the most severe symptoms might not feel better until after a cold snap. 

3. What relieves allergies fast?

Have a lot more water. Increasing one’s water intake may be the quickest and easiest strategy to alleviate allergy symptoms. Drinking extra water will help you keep hydrated and eliminate harmful substances from your body. The amounts of histamine in your body can also be managed.

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