September is probably not your favorite month if you suffer from seasonal allergies. As the leaves begin to change color, weed pollen levels rise, making it difficult for allergy sufferers to enjoy the beauty of fall.
The concentration of indoor allergens may also be high. So if you're sensitive to these allergens, September may signal the start of a new season of sneezing and sniffling.
If you're one of the millions of Americans who suffer from allergies, it will be helpful to know what to expect about September allergies. Keep reading to learn more about allergies in September.
What Are Fall Seasonal Allergies?
Fall seasonal allergies result from your immune system overreacting to a foreign substance such as pollen. Your immune system mistakenly believes these foreign substances are harmful and releases chemicals, such as histamines, to protect your body. This release of histamines is what causes the symptoms of allergies.
One of the major causes of fall allergies is weed pollen because most weed species reach their pollen peak season in September. Indoor allergens such as pet dander, mites, and dust also cause allergies in the fall.
What Causes Fall Allergies in September?
You can experience September allergies due to exposure to different allergens. Both indoor and outdoor allergens are prevalent this month, making it challenging to escape triggers. The most common substances that can trigger your allergic reactions during the fall include pollen, mold, and dust mites.
The weed pollen season, which usually starts late in the summer, reaches its peak in September. Different weed species release pollen in huge concentrations. When the wind blows, this pollen can travel long distances and enter your nose, where they trigger an allergic reaction.
The weeds that trigger your allergies could grow anywhere, including in your backyard, fields, parks, or a nearby forest. Some of the most common allergenic weeds include:
- Lamb's quarters
- Russian thistle
Mold spores are another common allergen that can cause allergies in September. These tiny particles are released into the air when mold is present and can enter your nose and throat, triggering an allergic reaction.
Leaves falling from trees during this season may decay and become a breeding ground for mold. You can also find mold in damp or humid places, such as basements, laundry rooms, bathrooms, and kitchens. Mold can also grow on damp clothing, shoes, or other items.
Dust mites are tiny creatures that thrive in humid environments and feed on dead skin cells. They're commonly found in homes, especially in mattresses, bedding, upholstered furniture, and carpets.
Although they're too small to see, dust mites can cause allergies in some people. You will have an allergic reaction if you inhale the proteins in dust mites' urine, feces, and decaying bodies.
When Is Peak Ragweed Season?
The peak ragweed season usually occurs in September when the highest concentration of ragweed pollen is in the air. This soft-stemmed plant can produce 1 billion pollen grains in a season. The high pollen concentration increases your chances of experiencing symptoms if you are allergic.
Ragweed pollen is very light and can be easily carried by the wind for long distances. Especially in the midwestern and eastern parts of the US. This means that even if no ragweed plants are growing near you, you can still be exposed to the allergen and experience symptoms.
Common Fall Allergy Symptoms
Fall allergy symptoms are similar to symptoms of seasonal allergies and can be mild or severe. The most common ones include:
- Runny or itchy nose
- Watery, red, or itchy eyes
- Itchy throat
- Hives or rashes on the skin
- Asthma-like symptoms such as wheezing and breathing difficulties
How Are Fall Allergies Diagnosed?
If you're experiencing any of these allergy symptoms during the fall, taking an allergy test is the best way to find relief. Understanding what allergens are causing your symptoms will help you find an effective allergy treatment plan to get rid of your symptoms.
There are several different methods of allergy testing available. Traditional allergy testing methods are often inconvenient and uncomfortable. However, easy at-home allergy testing is available through Wyndly. Learn the differences now.
Skin Prick Test
When most people think of allergy testing, they think of the skin prick test. A skin prick test involves an allergist pricking or scraping patients' skin with a needle tipped with various allergens.
After scraping the skin, the allergist observes the patient for signs of an allergic reaction, such as itchiness, redness, or swelling. If your body reacts with one or all of these signs, you're likely allergic to that specific substance.
Skin prick testing can be a time-consuming and uncomfortable approach to allergy testing. Identifying an allergist and booking an appointment alone can take several weeks to months. Not only will you have to take this test in person at an allergist’s office, but you’ll have to deal with itchy hives afterward if you end up being allergic to one of the allergens you were exposed to during the test.
At-Home Allergy Test
Unlike skin prick tests, at-home allergy testing kits are more user-friendly and pain-free. Here's how they work:
- Order Wyndly's at-home allergy test online. Our CLIA-certified tests are shipped directly to your doorstep.
- Take the allergy test and send it back to us. It just takes one quick finger prick test to provide a blood sample. Then, you'll mail it back when you're done.
- Receive your personalized treatment plan. Our doctor will interpret your test results, develop an allergy profile, and then meet with you to discuss your personalized treatment plan. An allergy test can reveal the full breadth of your allergies. This way, you know exactly what you're allergic to and how you can treat your symptoms.
An at-home allergy test is a comfortable, simple solution that gives you an in-depth understanding of your environmental and seasonal allergies.
How to Treat Seasonal Allergies in September?
Whether your seasonal allergy symptoms are caused by ragweed pollen, mold spores, dust mites, or any other common autumnal allergen, you can minimize these issues and stop them from ruining this time of year. Below are some specific suggestions you can implement to improve fall allergy symptoms.
One of the easiest ways to combat watery eyes, coughing, and other common signs of fall allergies is to limit your exposure to the allergens that are causing your symptoms.
The following practices can help you avoid exposure and reduce your allergy reactions:
- Monitor the pollen count: Check the pollen count in your area before going outside. If the pollen count is high, try to reduce the amount of time you spend outdoors. Keep your windows closed to reduce the amount of pollen that gets into your home.
- Stay indoors when pollen counts are high: Pollen counts are usually highest in the morning and afternoon. If you are going to spend time outdoors, try to plan around when the pollen count is at its highest to reduce your exposure to your allergy triggers.
- Avoid wearing shoes indoors: Wearing shoes inside your home after being outside can cause you to track pollen and other allergens into your home. Take your shoes off when you come inside to limit how much pollen you bring into your home with you.
- Wipe your pets: If you have pets that spend time outdoors, wipe them down regularly with a damp towel to keep them from tracking in allergens.
- Clean regularly: Vacuum your home with a HEPA filter to capture pollen and other allergy triggers. This will help to prevent pollen, dust, and animal dander from building up.
- Shower as soon as you come inside: Cleaning yourself after being outside will help you to get rid of pollen that might be lingering in your hair or skin. Showering after an extended time outdoors will help you wash off the pollen instead of tracking it through your home.
- Do laundry more often: Pollen can also stick to your clothes after you’ve been outdoors. Cleaning your clothes more often will reduce the amount of pollen that builds up on your clothing or the amount of pollen your clothes bring inside.
While limiting exposure can reduce your allergy symptoms, certain allergy triggers, like pollen, are nearly impossible to fully avoid. Certain medications can help you temporarily manage your fall allergy symptoms.
- Antihistamines: Antihistamines are a widely available type of over-the-counter (OTC) medication that temporarily blocks histamine production. This results in short-term symptom relief from mild to moderate symptoms.
- Nasal sprays: Nasal sprays can combat runny or stuffy noses by temporarily reducing nasal swelling and inflammation.
- Eye drops: Eye drops can flush pollen from the eyes to provide short-term relief from itchiness, redness, and wateriness.
If OTC allergy medications aren't effective for you, or you are looking for long-term relief, sublingual immunotherapy might be right for you.
Sublingual immunotherapy provides long-term relief from your allergies. Sublingual immunotherapy, also known as allergy drops or tablets, involves gradually introducing small doses of an allergen into the body. This gradual exposure retrains the immune system to ignore your allergy triggers instead of reacting.
Sublingual immunotherapy is as effective as allergy shots. However, there's no need to deal with painful injections or inconvenient, time-consuming doctor's appointments. You can safely take sublingual immunotherapy from the comfort of your home.
Take Our Allergy Assessment
Do you want long-term relief from your fall allergy symptoms? If so, Wyndly might be right for you. Our allergy doctors will help you identify exactly what’s causing your symptoms and create a personalized treatment plan to help you live free from your allergies.
Take our quick online assessment today to see if sublingual immunotherapy is right for you!