Fall Allergies

Provided by: Michael Goodman, MD


The fall can be a challenging time of year for asthma sufferers. Whether you are trying to enjoy some cooler temperatures before the onset of winter or your favorite fall festivities, asthma can get in the way

One extremely susceptible group is those with allergic asthma triggered by ragweed. While the severity and exact timing of ragweed season varies from year to year, it generally runs from the beginning of August until early October. Ragweed can be quite a potent allergy for those allergic to it. As we breathe in the pollen, it makes its way down into the airways and can trigger an asthma attack. While often not as potent, mold during the fall can also be an issue. While fallen leaves are great for pictures and fun for kids to play in, decomposing plants serve as a great place for mold to thrive.

It helps to watch ragweed pollen and mold counts in your area and avoid spending a lot of time outside when counts are high. If you do spend time outside when counts are high, it helps to change your clothes and take a shower/bath to limit your overall exposure. While opening windows in the fall is tempting, it can allow allergens to enter the home. It helps to keep windows closed and an air purifier running inside to help reduce exposure.

Aside from allergens, there are other significant asthma triggers in the fall. Cold air is a common asthma trigger. Be prepared by watching the weather forecasts and planning your clothing appropriately. Try to keep a jacket nearby, just in case. Smoke is another common trigger, whether from wildfires hundreds of miles away or the campfire in your backyard. The fall also marks the start of cold and flu season. Getting a flu shot can help. Even if it doesn’t keep you from getting the flu, it can reduce the severity of the infection.

Medications are an important part of controlling asthma. Before the onset of fall is a great time to ensure your albuterol rescue inhaler is not expired. Keep it on hand, as asthma flares can surprise you in the fall. It’s also essential to make sure your asthma is well-controlled to start with. The better controlled your asthma is, the less likely you are to have an asthma flare, and the less severe a flare is likely to be if one occurs.

The board-certified allergists at Ohio ENT and Allergy Physicians are experts in asthma care. We can help determine your allergy triggers and how controlled your asthma is and partner with you to develop appropriate allergy and asthma treatments to keep you healthy this fall and the rest of the year. Don’t wait! Schedule today before your asthma stops you in your tracks this fall.

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