Autumn days bring cooler temperatures that lure you outdoors. Along with the change in seasons comes a host of pesky airborne allergens just waiting to make you uncomfortable. If you experience sneezing and itchy eyes and ears, you may be a fall allergy sufferer.
4 Common Fall Allergens
Known as rhinitis, seasonal allergies cause an inflammation of the nose’s mucous membranes. According to Harvard Medical School, rhinitis affects 10 to 30 percent of adults and about 40 percent of children, and is caused by airborne allergens. Here are the four most common culprits to suspect if you find yourself sneezing up a storm:
Notorious for causing allergy symptoms in 75 percent of spring-allergy sufferers, ragweed is a yellow-flowered weed that releases allergy-producing pollen from August through October.
Ragweed grows nationwide but is most common in the Midwest and East. Because it’s a weed, it readily grows just about anywhere. And even if you don’t see the flowers, one plant can create one-billion grains of pollen, which can travel for hundreds of miles.
The cooler, often wetter days of fall bring the moist conditions in which mold thrives. Mold is a fungus that produces spores that travel through the air both indoors and out. Outdoor mold spores naturally occur in damp areas like compost piles and wet, fallen leaves. Indoors you’ll find mold in moist areas like the bathroom, kitchen and basement. Mold spores tend to stay active until temperatures fall significantly in the winter.
3. Dust Mites:
They might be microscopic, but dust mites can wreak havoc on your nose. These pesky critters are year-round troublemakers, but they tend to appear in larger numbers in temperatures between 65 to 75 degrees and in moist conditions. Be sure to wash your bedding often, as dust mites are known to thrive in those areas.