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Living Without

Common Fall Allergies and How to Avoid Them

an ENT doctor examining his patient's throat area

Seasonal allergies can occur in the fall as well as in the springtime. The change in weather between summer and winter also brings out common allergens. As the temperature drops and leaves start to fall from the trees, many people have allergic reactions. Symptoms can include an itchy throat and eyes, sneezing and irritation. Allergies are typical in the fall, but there are ways you can prevent them. Doctors at the Allergy and Asthma Center can provide you with plenty of help and advice. Here are a few of the most common fall allergies and how to avoid them. 


Ragweed is a weed with yellow flowers that bloom at the end of summer. One ragweed plant alone produces even as much as a billion grains of pollen each fall. Many people experience allergic reactions to this type of pollen until the cold temperatures eventually cause the plant to die off for the winter. It typically affects the same people who also have similar allergies to pollen in the spring. Ragweed is especially typical in rural areas of the east and Midwest.

How to avoid ragweed allergies

You can track the pollen count near where you live by following the local news and weather. If it’s high, avoid going out where possible, particularly in the middle of the day. If you do need to go out during these peak hours you could try wearing a mask to cover your face. Pollen can also be brought inside with you so it’s a good idea to take off your jacket and shoes when you enter your home and clean any carpets, linens, and curtains. 

Mold and mildew

Mold and mildew are types of fungi that can cause allergies. They are easily spread by the wind, including indoors. They can grow throughout the year but thrive particularly in the fall due to the damp weather. You may also find mold and mildew in areas of your house with more water flowing through such as the kitchen, bathroom and basement.

How to avoid mold and mildew allergies

Get rid of damp leaves in your yard and gutters, as mold and mildew can thrive in these. The main cause of the build-up of mold and mildew is humidity, so it’s recommended to use a dehumidifier to maintain the air at thirty-five to fifty percent humidity. Keep your kitchen and bathroom clean and dispose of all waste.

Dust mites

These microscopic creatures consume tiny flakes of human skin that is left on surfaces in the house. Dust mites exist all throughout the year, but they thrive in hotter temperatures. After the summer, they’re more likely to cause allergies. They can die out when the temperature drops dramatically or if the humidity is less than seventy percent. 

How to avoid allergies to dust mites

It’s vital to keep your home as clean as possible to prevent allergies. Before the temperatures drop for the winter, clean out your air vents. This reduces the number of dust mites for when you switch on your heating. You should also use a dehumidifier to minimize them and maintain the humidity below fifty percent. Keep on top of cleaning especially dusting and vacuuming.

Dust mites often live in materials such as upholstery and bedding, so wash these regularly at a high heat. Instead of carpets, you could switch to hardwood flooring to decrease their numbers. If you have allergies to dust mites wear a mask or face covering when cleaning.

Pet allergies

Several people are allergic to pet dander and fur. It’s common to also have pet allergies if you experience a reaction to pollen and other seasonal allergens. These can be caused by pet fur, saliva or even droppings. More people are allergic to cats and dogs, but it sometimes depends on the breed. 

How to avoid pet allergies

If you know you have pet allergies, it’s probably best to stay away from cats and dogs. Doctors will be able to give advice if you’re are interested in adopting a new pet. There might be certain breeds that won’t cause such a strong reaction. Doctors can also prescribe certain types of medication such as antihistamines for allergies. These can be used to treat the more common fall allergies. They can also help you to take the necessary precautions to help you manage any allergies you might experience in the fall.

If you would like to learn more about common fall allergies and the Allergy and Asthma Center, contact us at 920-969-1768.