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Fall may mean the start of football season, fall foliage and cooler air. But for some people, it also means an increase in allergy symptoms. Luckily, there are several things you can do to combat fall allergies.

You may know the feeling. Itchy eyes, sneezing, runny nose and even headaches all caused by seasonal allergies. If you think allergy symptoms only occur during the spring, you may be surprised to learn fall allergies also commonly occur.

Causes Of Fall Allergies

Allergies of any kind are caused when your immune system overreacts to a substance, which is typically harmless. Normally, your immune system helps your body fight off or recover from an infection. When you are allergic to something, your immune system mistakes the substance for something harmful and releases various chemicals including histamines. Histamines cause many common allergy symptoms.

The substances, which trigger allergic reactions varies widely among individuals. Some people have seasonal allergies, which means their symptoms are associated with a specific time of the year. Many people may think seasonal allergies usually occur in the spring when flowers are blooming and pollen counts are high. But fall allergies also affect millions of people each year.

A common cause of fall allergies is ragweed. Ragweed usually begins to pollinate from the middle of August until about mid-October.  If you are allergic to ragweed, your symptoms may be worse in the early autumn months when levels are at their highest.

Another common culprit leading to fall allergy symptoms is mold. Mold can be a problem for allergy suffers anytime of the year. But in the fall, mold spores can be in the air from fallen, damp leafs.

Dust mites can also be a cause of allergies in the autumn. Dust mites thrive in warm weather. After the warm summer months, waste products from dust mites may be trapped in air filters. Once you turn on the heat, you may release allergens into the air.  

Fall Allergy Symptoms   

The severity of fall allergy symptoms may vary from person to person. The part of the country you live in may also play a role in how likely you are to suffer from fall allergy symptoms. For instance, ragweed is more common in certain parts of the country. Although the weed grows everywhere, it is most common in the Midwest and East.

But regardless of where you live, you may develop fall allergies. Symptoms range from mild to severe. Common symptoms include a runny nose, itchy eyes, a scratchy throat and sneezing. Some people also develop headaches and chronic sinusitis.

In prone to asthma, fall allergens, such as ragweed, can trigger an asthma attack, which can be serious. Signs of an asthma attack include trouble breathing, wheezing, coughing and anxiety.

Although serious reactions, such as trouble breathing, are not common, allergies can still be a very big nuisance. Symptoms can interfere will everyday activities and make sleep difficult. Fall allergies can also cause someone to restrict time spent outdoors or change plans due to symptoms. 

Because fall allergy season also corresponds with the start of the cold season, it can be difficult to tell the difference between allergy symptoms and a cold. One way to distinguish the two is allergies often develop quickly. For example, you may be fine one minute, and once you go outside, you start sneezing and develop a runny nose. Colds usually develop a little more slowly.

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