Autumn Allergies

H. Farhadian, M.D., F.A.A.P., F.A.A.A.A.I.
Copyright© 2019, H. Farhadian, MD. All rights reserved.

Although many plants die off during this season, weeds are growing and pollinating in abundance. Russian Thistle (tumbleweed) and Desert Ragweed, to name a couple, form a significant pollen count. Also, some trees, including elm and eucalyptus, and many grasses pollinate during the fall.

Pollens plus other aggravating factors add to the severity of allergies during this season. Outdoor irritants include pollution, dry-cold air and wind. Among the indoor agents are house dust, pets, smoke, perfume and aerosol sprays. Allergic reactions that may be encountered include:

  • sneezing
  • runny nose
  • nasal congestion
  • itching of the nose, eyes, ears, roof of the mouth and throat
  • redness of the eyes
  • blocking and/or ringing of the ear

  • In asthmatics, symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and tightness of the chest tend to become more severe. Conventional medications in ordinary dosages loose their effectiveness causing the use of more medication. Also, other diseases, such as eczema, might become more acute with symptoms such as itching and rashes growing more severe.

    For preventing and minimizing symptoms, the following measures are suggested:

    • Avoid aggravating outdoor conditions such as cold air and air pollution.

    • Avoid indoor pollutants. The house, especially the bedroom, should be cleaned from dust. Keep pets outdoors as much as possible and stay away from smokers. Use of aerosol sprays and perfumes should be avoided.

    • If the above measures do not relieve the symptoms, see your doctor. He/she might be able to control your symptoms temporarily through medication and refer you to an allergist for a thorough examination, allergy testing and treatment that will provide permanent relief.