Autumn is coming: What allergies does it bring with it?


Autumn is coming: What allergies does it bring with it?

As we bid farewell to another “summer” and welcome the cool embrace of autumn, it’s time to prepare for a different kind of seasonal shift: the rise of autumn allergies. 

As the leaves change from green to golden amber – while they look charming – they bring a host of allergens that can trigger symptoms you’re unlikely to see across the rest of the year. 

Autumn weeds produce new pollen types. Mould spores grow from fallen, rotting leaves, soil, compost heaps, and dead plants. And indoor allergens are on the rise. 

Let’s explore these together. 

Autumnal pollen

As the seasons take a turn, so do the flowering weeds. Common to autumn, you’ll likely find common dock weed, ragweed, mugwort, nettles, sorrel and plantain. Ragweed, in particular, is a notorious nuisance. It grows fast and produces exceptionally high pollen levels from the end of August to November (or until the first frost). If you’re experiencing a ragweed allergy, you might be experiencing fever symptoms like sneezing, itchy eyes, and congestion. Additionally, mugwort pollen makes for quite the autumn allergy cocktail. 

The rise of the mould spores

Falling leaves can be magical in the autumn months. But not for those with an allergy to mould spores. These spores thrive in damp, decaying matter; of which, autumn is the perfect breeding ground. Fallen leaves, especially when wet, become hotspots for mould growth. These tiny spores can cause allergic reactions and exacerbate asthma symptoms when inhaled. Dampness is a boon for mould spores, making it essential to take precautions to minimise exposure if you have a mould spore allergy. 

Indoor allergens take centre stage 

 As days get darker and damper, we tend to hibernate and spend more time indoors. By doing so, we create a different sort of allergen hotbed. Being inside increases dust buildup, leading to mites, pet dander, and indoor moulds. As it gets colder outside and energy prices have no intentions of dropping, we’re more likely to keep windows and doors closed, keeping all the allergens circulating inside, increasing exposure. 

So, how can you manage autumn allergens?

The changing season doesn’t have to mean surrendering to allergies. Here are a few proactive steps you can take:

Know your triggers

Before taking prevention, knowing what is specifically causing discomfort is your first port of call. When you know the issue, you can arm yourself against autumn allergens by minimising your exposure.

Autumn clean

It’s like a spring clean, but after the summer, not before it. Swap out lighter bedding for warmer, allergen-proof bedding. Pull out all your furniture where you can and give a thorough clean and hoover. Autumn means closing windows and doors to keep outside allergens from coming in, but it puts you between a rock and a hard place because that also prevents indoor allergens from getting out. Investing in an air purifier can be a handy middle ground. 

Stay informed

As you would with pollen counts in the summer, keep monitoring pollen counts and mould levels in your area. On days when allergen levels are high, you can make an informed choice on whether or not to stay inside. 

The vibrant hues of autumn leaves are on their way, but so are seasonal allergies. The good news is that you don’t have to lock yourself away until the spring. Let’s take the first steps to uncover any potential seasonal allergens causing discomfort. Our allergy experts can guide you through the process, from testing to advice you need to live a comfortable life. Simply register as a new patient or call us on 02031 433 449.

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