At the beginning of every fall, rays of sun appear through the windows, and the tree leaves begin to turn into beautiful colors, including red, orange, and yellow, appearing like a wonderful artistic painting. But, these fall colors meant something else entirely to me: they meant the beginning of my seasonal allergies journey that I suffer every year.

Every morning, I wake up with teary eyes and a frozen nose, already knowing that fall has arrived. Seasonal allergies aren’t just about sneezing or coughing, they’re a daily battle with symptoms that can become daunting and exhausting.

I suffer from a constant cough, red eyes, and a feeling of malaise whenever I go out for a walk in nature. I try to smile and enjoy the cheerful colors around me, but unfortunately, even a light breeze can trigger symptoms.

If you are facing this suffering, I encourage you to continue reading this article, as you will learn how to successfully overcome and deal with seasonal allergies, and do not hesitate to share this article with anyone close to you who suffers from a similar problem.

What is Seasonal Allergies

What is Seasonal Allergies

Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, is an inflammation of the mucous membrane lining the nose. It is a very common condition that occurs as a result of the immune system being exposed to substances present in the environment and interacting with them, leading to the emergence of an allergic reaction.

One of the main triggers of seasonal allergies is pollen, which is spread in the air by plants. Therefore, its spread is most noticeable in the spring and fall, when large amounts of pollen are released into the air.

If you’re allergic to just one irritant, you may experience allergy season for only a few weeks or months each year. But if your symptoms are caused by several different allergens, you may find that you’re affected by two or more seasons. In short, all seasons can have seasonal allergies, depending on your triggers.

Allergies can be divided into two types:

  • Seasonal allergies: Symptoms appear in the spring, summer, or fall, and are usually caused by pollen.
  • Persistent allergies: Symptoms appear throughout the year, and causative factors include dust and pet hair.

Seasonal Allergies Symptoms

Seasonal allergies symptoms include a variety of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. The most common symptoms include:

  • Sneezing.
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose.
  • Eyes watery, red and itchy.
  • Itchy nose and throat.
  • Ear congestion.
  • Drainage of fluids from the nose to the throat.

Less common symptoms include:

  • Headache.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Inhale.
  • Cough.
  • Itchy skin.
  • Eye swelling and dark circles around it.
  • Insomnia and sleep disturbance.
  • Exhaustion.

Many people who have hay fever also have asthma. If you have both hay fever and asthma, seasonal allergy triggers may trigger an asthma attack.

Fall Seasonal Allergies

Ragweed pollen is the main cause of fall allergies. This plant is found abundantly in open spaces such as fields and rural roads. Pollen is spread by the wind.

Seasonal allergies occur in the fall during the following months:

  • September: Seasonal allergies usually begin in the fall at the end of summer, but their onset period varies depending on the area in which you live.
  • In mid-September, levels of ragweed pollen in the air rise, and this allergy persists until October or November, as storms and high humidity further spread the pollen and cause increased symptoms.
  • October: The chances of developing allergies can increase in October, especially in warm regions. Seasonal allergies in the fall may still continue during this month, and rain and monsoon winds can increase the spread of germs and fungi and cause an increase in allergies.
  • November: The ragweed pollen season usually ends by mid-November. This month is a respite from allergies for many people before pet dander allergies begin, and individuals can experience an improvement in symptoms and relief of respiratory infections.

Please note that this information may vary slightly based on the region and local climate factors. Therefore, it is preferable for you to seek help from local sources to obtain more specific information regarding your allergies in the fall. It is also advisable to consult with your doctor to determine the possible factors that cause your allergies and to obtain appropriate treatment.

Fall Seasonal Allergies Symptoms

Fall Seasonal Allergies Symptoms

Below are the common symptoms of allergies in the fall, and you can deal with them easily by following the tips attached below each symptom to avoid them:

  • Watery eyes, itching and irritation

You can use soothing eye drops to relieve itching and irritation, and wear sunglasses to protect against allergens in the air.

  • Runny nose or congestion

Use anti-allergy nasal spray or medications prescribed by your doctor; To relieve nasal congestion and drain fluids.

  • Sneezing

You can cover your mouth and nose when sneezing; To prevent the spread of allergen particles.

  • Headache

Use headache relievers prescribed by your doctor to relieve pain and headache.

  • Skin rash

Use a soothing cream or hypoallergenic ointment on irritated skin to relieve itching and irritation.

  • Itchy throat

Drink warm drinks such as warm tea or water with honey to relieve itching and soothe the throat.

  • Worsening of asthma symptoms

Make sure to use asthma medications prescribed by your doctor to avoid worsening symptoms.

Winter Seasonal Allergies

Seasonal allergies actually start in the winter, when the temperature drops and we gradually spend more time indoors. Staying indoors with the heating on may protect you from the mid-winter cold, but it means spending more hours in close contact with your pets and greater exposure to dust.

Before we start listing the points, here is an explanation of the concept of “mold” so that we can avoid it, as it refers to the growth of multicellular microorganisms that mostly belong to the fungal group. Mold is formed when fungi grow in conditions of humidity, warmth, and darkness, and use organic materials as a source of food.

Mold can grow in a variety of places such as moldy food, unventilated bathrooms, damp areas in homes, and surfaces with high humidity. Some species may secrete toxic compounds or trigger respiratory allergies, and others may cause skin irritation. Therefore, it is recommended to get rid of mold and clean the affected areas well to reduce health problems.

Seasonal allergies occur in winter as follows:

  • December: You may have noticed that real trees used for Christmas may trigger winter allergies due to powdery mildew found on their branches.

Therefore, I recommend that you buy the tree a week before decorating and leave it in an enclosed place, such as a garage or balcony, and then shake it well to get rid of possible mold.

  • January: You should pay attention to increasing indoor heating during the winter, as it may raise household dust and cause winter allergies.

It is recommended to reduce your exposure to dust by keeping the humidity in the home below 55 percent, using a vacuum cleaner equipped with a filter regularly, and covering pillows and bedding with dust-resistant covers.

  • February: Tree grains may be present in February and cause allergies. Trees that cause allergies include catalpa, elm, walnut, olive, pecan, and sycamore.

You may have symptoms similar to spring allergies such as watery eyes, sneezing, and nasal congestion.

Spring Seasonal Allergies

Spring Seasonal Allergies

When you are exposed to allergens in the spring, your immune system considers these substances as attacks, and tries to eliminate them by releasing histamine, which causes you unwanted symptoms. Allergens include pollen, chemicals, some types of insects, and dust.

Seasonal allergies occur in the fall during the following months:

  • March: marks the beginning of spring, so if trees, grass, and pollen start appearing early, March can be a difficult month for people with spring allergies.

Although beautiful spring weather tempts you to get outside, if you have spring allergies, you need to be aware of your pollen count. The higher it is, the more severe the allergy.

  • April: This month brings rain with it, which makes the flowers bloom, but despite their beauty and pleasing appearance, the flowers and their pollen cause discomfort for people with spring allergies.
  • May: Although tree bean sprouting may begin in February, it continues into May. This means that you may need to deal with spring allergies for four months, and grass pollen may also be active at this time of year in some areas of the country.

Summer Seasonal Allergies

Spring is over, but you’re still suffering from stuffy, runny noses and sneezing, so welcome to summer allergy season, which lasts long after the April rains and May flowers.

During the long, sunny days of summer, more people go outside; For gardening, entertaining in the backyard and enjoying camping, hiking and biking adventures. In addition, common allergens such as mold spores and pollen are active this time of year.

Seasonal allergies occur in the summer as follows:

  • June: This month, grass pollen is most active in many areas, and this can cause symptoms to worsen.

Grass pollen is affected by several factors in the summer, including:

  • Temperature: Pollen numbers increase when the weather is windy and warm.
  • Amount of precipitation: If the rain is heavy, the pollen count may be high. Therefore, its effect may increase on people with allergies.
  • Time of day: Pollen amounts are usually highest in the morning, meaning people with allergies may feel more symptomatic in the morning than in the afternoon and evening.
  • July: Grass pollen decreases, which means allergies may become more manageable and mitigated, but on the downside, July sees fungal spores and seeds begin to spread.

Mold spores grow on fallen leaves, compost piles, weeds, and grains. So if you suffer from an allergy to them, you may feel as if your allergy never ends.

  • August: It is considered a major month for people who suffer from summer allergies; Because mold seeds reach their peak during hot and humid climates. You may want to stay indoors some days, run the air conditioner with the filter and thus feel better during the hot August days.

Seasonal Allergies Diagnosis

Diagnosing seasonal allergies includes several important steps, including:

  • Clinical examination and conversation with the patient to determine the symptoms and the timing at which they appear. A medical history of the patient and close family members is also required to determine possible factors of the allergy.
  • Skin prick test: The skin is pricked with substances that may cause irritation to the nose, and the results are evaluated for 10 to 20 minutes, as swelling or redness appears at the injection site in the event of an allergy.
  • Blood test: The test measures the percentage of antibodies present against allergens, as a high percentage of antibodies may indicate the presence of an allergy.
  • Complete blood count analysis: shows the number of eosinophilic white blood cells, and their presence increases in the presence of allergies.

Using these steps, a doctor can diagnose seasonal allergies and identify the causative factors, which helps him develop an appropriate treatment plan to relieve symptoms.

Seasonal Allergies Treatment

Seasonal Allergies Treatment

The best medicine for seasonal allergies and year-round allergic rhinitis is to avoid the irritants that trigger your symptoms. There are also medications available to treat seasonal allergy symptoms, and some people turn to alternative treatments and complementary medicine to relieve symptoms.

  1. Stay away from allergens

Follow these steps to avoid seasonal allergens:

  • Use a filtered air conditioner to cool your home in the summer, instead of ceiling fans.
  • Check your local pollen forecast via your local weather network, and try to stay indoors when pollen counts are high.

Times of the year when allergy symptoms are active:

  • Close your windows.
  • Limit your time outdoors.
  • Wear a dust mask when you are outside, especially on windy days.
  1. Medications

When the allergen cannot be avoided, there are other treatments available including the following:

  • Over-the-counter antihistamines, such as cetirizine (Zyrtec), and combination medicines that contain paracetamol (Acetaminophen), diphenhydramine, and phenylephrine.
  • Decongestants: They help reduce congestion and open the respiratory passages. They may contain ingredients such as oxymetazoline; To treat sinus congestion caused by allergies.
  • Steroid Nasal Sprays; To relieve symptoms such as nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing and nasal itching associated with a severe runny nose or allergic rhinitis. These sprays reduce irritation and swelling in the nose.
  • Saline nasal sprays; To relieve nasal dryness caused by allergies, colds, and rhinitis, it moisturizes the nose and reduces the viscosity of mucus, which helps relieve nasal congestion and facilitate the exit of mucus if it is dry and clumpy.

Additionally, they help clean the nose and remove impurities and irritants. which promotes healing and comfort in the respiratory system.

  • Immune injections: In cases of severe and persistent allergies, the doctor may recommend immune injections. These injections involve gradually exposing the body to small amounts of allergens to help the body develop immunity to them.

Some anti-allergy medications may cause unwanted side effects, such as drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion. So consult your doctor before starting any medications.

  1. Alternative Therapies

There have been a few studies conducted on alternative treatments, and some believe they may provide relief for people with seasonal allergies. These treatments include:

  • Christine: It is a plant pigment that belongs to a group of compounds called flavonoids, and is found in colorful fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes, broccoli, red and white onions, and apples.
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus: It is a type of beneficial bacteria found in yogurt, which has antifungal properties.
  • Vitamin C: Which contains some antihistamine properties.
  • Spirulina: It is a type of blue-green algae. It is considered one of the most famous nutritional supplements and is rich in nutrients and vitamins. Spirulina is characterized by its high percentage of proteins, as it contains all the essential amino acids that the body needs.

Some research studies reinforce its potential benefits in supporting heart health, alleviating inflammation, and boosting the immune system. You should consult a doctor before taking spirulina, especially for people who suffer from certain diseases or take certain medications, to ensure that there are no negative interactions or conflicts.

Seasonal Allergies Prevention Tips

Here are some basic precautions you can take to limit your exposure to seasonal allergens and avoid the discomfort caused by them, including the following:

  1. Shower when you return home, change clothes and put on clean clothes; Pollen grains can stick to it, and drying clothes indoors when pollen concentrations are high in the air.
  1. Make sure to clean the skin after returning from outside to remove any pollen that may be stuck on the skin or hair.
  1. Clean surfaces in your home regularly using a damp cloth to remove accumulated pollen.
  1. Choose a suitable air conditioning filter and change it regularly. Make sure to choose the filter that reduces allergies for your home and check the instructions on the packaging; To know the frequency of changing it to maintain its optimal performance, as this can contribute significantly to reducing air pollution in your home.
  1. Cleaning your pets. If your pet spends time outdoors, it is likely that it will carry pollen on its fur. Do not allow it to enter the bedroom to reduce the accumulation of pollen there.
  1. Make sure to close the car windows while driving, and use an air conditioning system with a filter if available.
  1. Avoid outdoor activities at times when pollen concentrations are high, especially early in the morning. Use saline or salt water to rinse the nose regularly.
  1. Protect yourself by wearing sunglasses when going outside; To protect your eyes from pollen that may enter through the eye.
  1. Ask family members or friends for help with mowing the lawn and caring for the garden if you have a grass allergy.
  1. Conduct regular home cleaning sessions to remove pollen, dust, and other residues that may cause allergies, and clean carpets, furniture, curtains, and surfaces well.

In conclusion, my dear, you should not allow seasonal allergies to spoil your joy about the new seasons, and it is necessary that you learn how to deal with these symptoms and improve your quality of life.

Available treatments and simple preventive measures can help you cope with seasonal allergies. Don’t forget, if your symptoms worsen or interfere with your daily life, you should contact your doctor, and keep in mind that proper health care is the best way to maintain your health.

Frequently Asked Questions about Seasonal Allergies

How long do seasonal allergy symptoms last?

Seasonal allergies can last for several weeks, and other types of seasonal allergies can also extend over several seasons.

Do seasonal allergies cause shortness of breath?

Yes. Seasonal allergies can affect my airways, causing shortness of breath, but they are a less common symptom.