Spring isn’t the only time of year allergies can flare up. As the leaves turn golden and fall, as the air turns crisp and cool, new triggers can cause allergy symptoms to appear.

How do allergies work?

When substances like pollen get into your nose and down your throat they can cause a chain reaction in your body. If your immune system mistakenly identifies them as foreign invaders and sends out antibodies to combat them, that releases releases histamines, which causes the runny nose, sore throat, watery eye symptoms we’re all familiar with.

What are the most common autumn allergens? 

Mould: mould thrives in damp, musty areas, like piles of damp leaves, basements, and closets.

Ragweed: although it begins pollinating in August, ragweed can linger in the air long into the fall months. Around 75% of people who are allergic to other summertime plants are also allergic to ragweed.

Dust mites: the first time you turn on your heater for the coming winter chill is when dust mites can get thrown into the air, and into your nose and mouth. Dust mites and mould can be especially prevalent in schools, which can make the bulk of kids’ days miserable. Treat symptoms early so they can get back to hitting the books!

How can I treat autumn allergens? 

It’s always a good idea to check with your ENT specialist before beginning any kind of medication. That being said, over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants can help to reduce sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes, and relieve congestion, respectively. Make sure to read the labels and follow the indications on the box.

Nasal spray corticosteroids, prescribed by your doctor,  can help to reduce inflammation in the nose.

If you have a long history with allergies, going to see a specialist can help to relieve your symptoms for a longer period of time by gradually exposing your body to the thing its allergic to.

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