Autumn allergies: what are the features

The text is presented for informational purposes only. We urge you not to self-medicate. When the first symptoms appear, consult a doctor. Recommended reading: " Why not self-medicate?". Typically, the classic allergy season is associated with spring and summer, when the air is filled with pollen that causes unpleasant symptoms. However, autumn is a time no less dangerous for allergy sufferers, with its own specific set of irritants. In the autumn months, people prone to allergies, in addition to pollen, can be annoyed by dust and mold. In addition, as statistics show, in the rainy season, cases of reactions to the neighborhood with pets become more frequent. Why does this happen and how to recognize autumn allergies? We'll talk about this.

Fall allergy to mold

What causes

Mold spores can appear anywhere and at any time of the year, but they reach the peak of their distribution autumn - in wet weather, when the leaves fall. Mold spores are microscopic particles that, when released into the environment, cause classic allergy symptoms: itching, tearing, runny nose, bouts of choking cough, rash [eleven].

Many people love autumn for the opportunity to walk in the park or forest, along paths strewn with yellowed leaves. However, such walks are dangerous for people allergic to mold. Molds thrive in damp and cool conditions, including leaf litter, basements and barns, where dampness and lack of light create optimal conditions for mold.

A person is not insured against contact with mold fungi in his home. Glazed balconies, bathrooms and poorly ventilated rooms - all this can turn into a breeding ground for dangerous fungi.

There are 4 main types of mold that cause allergic symptoms.

These include:

  1. Penicillium notatum. May be found in soil, compost and decaying leaves. Appears on spoiled vegetables, fruits, nuts, black bread, cheese and other foods.
  1. Cladosporium Herbarum. This is the most common culprit of autumn allergies. This mushroom is most dangerous at the end of summer and in the first months of autumn. The danger of this type of mold is that it can be airborne. Colonies of Cladosporium Herbarum usually form on soil and dead plants. But they can also live in uncleaned refrigerators, on food, window frames, and in poorly ventilated homes.
  1. Aspergillus Fumigatus. Another strong fall allergen. This type of mold can be found in soil, decaying leaves, vegetables, roots, and bird droppings. The fungus Aspergillus Fumigatus, in addition to an allergic reaction, can cause broncho-obstructive syndrome.
  1. Alternaria Alternata. It also belongs to the most common fungi. It breeds equally well in soil, compost, rotten wood, decaying plants, bird nests, and on food and textiles. It is found in high concentrations in the locations of agricultural and other processing enterprises.

How it manifests

Fall allergies caused by molds usually present with respiratory problems. Symptoms may include wheezing, coughing,43 dyspnoea, and nasal obstruction with rhinorrhea. Worst of all, a person with a mold allergy is usually diagnosed in parallel with asthma. Many mistakenly believe that asthma is a complication of autumn allergies. However, the trigger for asthma is the mold, not the allergy itself.

How to avoid

If autumn allergies are caused by molds, then the only way to avoid exacerbation of the disease is to limit contact with the allergen. That is, allergy sufferers need to reduce the time spent outdoors near plant substrates and walks in parks and forests in autumn. Such people should also avoid gardening or gardening, especially should not be taken to clean up withered grass and fallen leaves.

If you are prone to autumn allergies, some precautions should be taken at home. First of all, it is necessary to take care of good ventilation in the room (especially the bathroom and kitchen) in advance (before the onset of cold weather). If mold is found in a residential area, then it is necessary to get rid of it with the help of special means that do not cause an additional allergic reaction. You should also regularly clean the refrigerator - this will prevent the formation of colonies of fungi on its walls and food.

In addition, it is absolutely not worth drying wet clothes right in the house - this will only speed up the process of reproduction of mushrooms. It should also be remembered that the top layer of soil in houseplants can also contain colonies of fungi. Therefore, the soil in flowerpots must be changed regularly, especially if an allergic person lives in the house.

Autumn allergy caused by pollen

What causes

Those who believe that hay fever (aka pollen allergy) are mistaken, or hay fever) occurs only in spring. In autumn, this problem annoys allergy sufferers no less.

As a rule, autumn pollinosis begins at the end of August and lasts as long as wild flowers and some other plants bloom. The most common causes of allergy are flowering sorrel, ragweed, nettle, carrot and plantain. The most dangerous for allergy sufferers is ragweed, which peaks in September. In different regions of the country, the prevalence of ragweed is completely different, however, the danger of allergies remains. Ambrosia pollen, together with the wind, can fly about 600 km per season. The pollen of this plant usually reaches its maximum content in the air by noon (especially in warm, dry weather), and rain, on the contrary, neutralizes the allergen.

By the way, according to the observations of specialists, if a person suffers from a spring allergy to pollen, then with a 75 percent probability he will have hay fever in the fall.

How it manifests

The symptoms of this type of autumn allergy include the classic presentation of hay fever. This is a runny nose, paroxysmal cough, red, itchy and watery eyes. Spring and autumn hay fever do not differ in specific symptoms, since the cause of both diseases is the same - sensitization by plant pollen.

How to avoid

Autumn hay fever can only bypass an allergic person if he avoids contact with the irritant. The simplest thing you can do to protect yourself is to close your bedroom windows to prevent pollen from entering your home. If you can’t wait for the flowering time of autumn grasses away from nature, the only salvation in this case is anti-allergic drugs that can ease the symptoms.

Fall allergy caused by dust

What causes

What many simply call dust allergy is actually a reaction to mites. But not those that live on the street, but on dusty ones that inhabit houses.

Dust mites are tiny creatures that feed on the dead epidermis of human skin, and their waste products can cause severe allergic reactions. As a rule, these mites live in bedding, on upholstered furniture, toys, carpets and clothes.

Theoretically, this type of allergy can occur at any time of the year, but in practice, cases of exacerbation occur more often in the fall. The whole reason is that with a cold snap, people begin to spend more time at home, in rooms with tightly closed windows and turned on heating. And now this time is the triumph of dust mites.

How it manifests

Autumn allergies caused by dust mites usually present with severe coughing, wheezing, choking, sneezing. After contact with an irritant, the symptoms only intensify each time.

How to avoid

not lower than 60 degrees (at lower temperatures, ticks do not die). Mattresses, pillows and blankets are best “dressed” in hypoallergenic textiles in which ticks do not take root. It is also worth regularly knocking out and drying carpets and floor coverings in the sun (this will help to avoid not only dust mites, but also mold fungi).

Stuffed toys can also harbor dust mites, so all plushies should be cleaned with the same regularity as bedding. If the toy cannot be washed at high temperatures, then it should either be carefully beaten out and exposed to the sun for several hours, or put in a plastic bag and kept for several hours in the freezer, and then washed in slightly warm soapy water.

Allergy to animals

Studies show that 40% of people with seasonal allergies also cannot tolerate being around animals. Moreover, allergies to pets tend to worsen in autumn and winter. It is also the result of an oversensitive human immune system that reacts to pet hair, saliva, urine or dander.

Interestingly, cats are about 2 times more likely to cause allergies in humans than dogs, and among dogs there are breeds that can be dangerous for allergic people to a greater or lesser extent. For example, reactions most often occur in the neighborhood with bulldogs and St. Bernards. Less often, owners of Havana dogs or schnauzers suffer from allergies.

As a preventive measure against exacerbation of autumn allergies, contact with domestic furry animals should be avoided. If a person, despite the tendency to allergic reactions, wants to get a pet, then it is more correct to choose a pet from among the hypoallergenic ones.

In addition, to minimize the risk of an exacerbation of seasonal disorder, the following rules should be observed:

  • bathe the pet regularly;
  • give the animal a limited space in the house;
  • keep a cat or dog out of your bedroom;
  • keep the animal's bed and toilet clean at all times;
  • use an air purifier in the house.

Autumn allergies or colds

Typical signs of allergies - cough, runny nose, watery eyes - can be easily confused with a cold, especially if it's autumn outside. Although the symptoms of allergies and colds are similar in many ways, there are some differences that will help you recognize what made you feel worse.

The first step is to observe a person with suspicious symptoms for several days. If a runny nose and cough appear from time to time and do not significantly worsen, it is most likely an allergy. With a cold (especially if left untreated), symptoms will appear daily for 3-14 days. In this case, deterioration of well-being is possible.

Secondly, attention should be paid to the frequency and intensity of sneezing. If this happens frequently, several times in a row, it may be a sign of an allergy. With a cold, sneezing is less intense.

In both cases, nasal congestion and runny nose may occur.

In addition, a cold is often accompanied by sore throat, fever, body aches. With allergies, there are no such symptoms.

How to relieve allergies

People suffering from various types of allergies know that avoiding irritants is not always possible, and exacerbation of the disease brings many inconveniences. However, in order to not disturb the autumn attacks so actively, you should prepare in advance for the change of seasons. In particular, take care of strengthening the immune system: the stronger the immune system, the lower the risk of sensitization of the body, including dust allergens.

If allergy symptoms have already manifested themselves, then some medicines will help relieve the condition. In particular, antihistamines in tablet or nasal spray form are recommended to reduce runny nose, nasal congestion, and sneezing. Nasal corticosteroids may be used to relieve symptoms and block the allergic reaction.

Leukotriene receptor antagonist drugs also help block allergy symptoms. Such drugs are usually prescribed for the treatment of asthma.

If the symptoms of allergy are severe and cannot be relieved at home, qualified medical attention should be sought. If this is not done in time, in some cases, the reaction to the allergen can lead to serious complications, including anaphylactic shock and Quincke's edema.

Autumn is a great time of the year when you can still enjoy the warm days that precede winter. However, so that this season does not turn into torture, it is necessary to prepare for it in advance, especially for allergy sufferers.

Sources
  1. Weather site “Meteoprog”. – Autumn allergy: symptoms, diagnosis and prevention.
  2. Blog “AIRNANNY”. - Allergy in autumn: what happens and how to deal with it.
  3. Official website of “ODYSSEY Wellness Resort”. – Autumn allergy.