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Though the flowers are no longer blooming and the air has turned crisp and cool, many allergy sufferers get no reprieve during the fall months. The allergy triggers might be slightly different, but they can be just as misery-inducing as the flower pollen that fills the air in the spring and summer.
What Causes Fall Allergies?
Male plants release tiny cells called pollen into the air in order to reproduce. When these pollen or other allergy triggers get into the noses of certain people, their immune system mistakenly sees them as foreign invaders and releases antibodies -- substances that normally identify and go after bacteria, viruses, and other illness-causing organisms. The antibodies attack the allergens, which leads to the release of chemicals called histamines into the blood. Histamines trigger the runny nose, itchy eyes, and other symptoms of allergies.
During the fall season, ragweed is the biggest allergy trigger. Though the yellow-flowering weed typically begins pollinating in August, it can linger well into the fall months. About three-quarters of people who are allergic to spring pollen-producing plants are also allergic to ragweed. Ragweed pollen can travel for hundreds of miles on the wind, so even if it doesn't grow where you live, it can still make you miserable if you're allergic to it.
Mold is another culprit, because its spores can easily get airborne. Mold thrives in damp areas, both indoors and outdoors. The piles of damp leaves that line yards and streets in the fall are breeding grounds for mold, as are damp basements and bathrooms at home.
Dust mites -- microscopic, spider-like insects -- are yet another common indoor allergen. They are most prevalent during the humid summer months, but can get stirred into the air the first time you turn on your furnace in the fall. From the air, dust mites can make their way into your nose, triggering sneezes, wheezes, and runny noses.
   Children and Fall Allergies
For children, the start of a new school year can also mean the beginning of fall allergy symptoms. Dust mites and mold both flourish in schools. Add to that chalk dust, which can get airborne with the bang of an eraser and trigger wheezing in children with asthma. Considering all of these potential allergens, it's not surprising that researchers have noted a sharp spike in asthma symptoms among children during late September and early October.
Food allergies are also an issue during the fall. Going back to school means sharing a cafeteria with children who are eating peanut butter, eggs, milk, and other foods that can be irritating --even life threatening -- to kids with allergies. Even Halloween becomes more trick than treat for kids who are allergic to the nuts and other candy ingredients.
What are the Symptoms of Fall Allergies?
Allergy symptoms caused by ragweed, pollen, or mold are called allergic rhinitis (hay fever). These symptoms include:
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Itchy eyes and nose
  • Dark circles under the eyes
People with allergies to ragweed can also develop an itchy throat and mouth -- a condition called oral allergy syndrome (OAS) -- when they eat banana, cucumber, melon, or certain other fruits and vegetables.
Airborne allergens also can trigger asthma, a condition in which the airways narrow, making breathing difficult and leading to coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
Food reactions can lead to hives, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and coughing. Severe reactions -- called anaphylaxis -- can cause the lips, tongue, or throat to swell and make breathing difficult.
How are Fall Allergies Diagnosed?
A visit to an allergist can help discover the trigger for your watery, itchy eyes and runny nose. After looking into your medical history and asking you about your symptoms, the allergy specialist will likely do a skin test, which involves scratching the skin with a tiny sample of the allergen, or injecting it just under the skin. If you're allergic to the substance, the area will turn red and itchy. This means that your body is producing antibodies to the allergen.
Another option for diagnosing allergies is the radioallergosorbent test (RAST) -- a blood test that detects antibody levels to a particular allergen. These types of tests can also be used to check for the source of food allergies.
How are Fall Allergies Treated?
To treat a runny nose, watery eyes, and itchiness, you can try one of these Homeopathics or medications:
Homeopathic deals with seasonal allergies quite differently than conventional remedies.
 Homeopathic remedies are individualized. Different symptoms require a different remedy. The remedy may have to be changed from time to time.
 If you have severe allergies, a homeopathic doctor should be consulted. Minor allergies can be self treated with homeopathy.
Certain pollen allergies cause watery eyes and burning nasal discharge. Sneezing happens but may not be constant. There may be pain in the forehead. People with these type of conditions feel better when they are inside the house in a cool room. They feel worse in warm rooms or in cold weather. Hot foods and drinks make them feel bad as well. The remedy used to treat this condition is Allium Cepa 6X.
Another type of allergy makes people sneeze constantly followed by an irritation cough. Nostrils are sore and red from the constant sneezing. The throat may also burn. Asthma may accompany the allergy. People with this type of allergy feel worse from sneezing and warm areas. The correct remedy to take is Arsenicum Iodatum 6X.
Another instance of allergy affects people primarily in the eyes. Eyes are swollen and sensitive to bright light. Eyes are watery. Little discharge from nose. The mucus drips to the back of the throat. People generally feel better by resting and sleeping. Warm weather and hot areas make this allergy feel worse. Being indoors and out in the evening makes the allergy feel worse. The proper remedy for this situation is Euphrasia 6X.
The final allergy basically caused a sore throat. Swallowing is very painful. Eyes are red and swollen. Eyes are also watery. The throat becomes very dry. Headaches make you feel like your head is shrinking. People feel better from eating and drink hot foods and drinks. The allergy is made worse from cold weather and cold drinks. The remedy for this situation is Sabadilla 6X.
As you can see, there are many remedies to treat seasonal allergies with homeopathy. We have just listed 4 of these remedies and the type of allergies needed for each remedy.
 A few others that will help are . Histaminum and a Galphimia
  • Prescription corticosteroids, usually given in the form of a nasal spray, reduce inflammation in the nose.
  • Antihistamines reduce sneezing, sniffling, and itching by blocking the action of histamine (the substance produced during an allergic reaction) in the body.
  • Decongestants clear mucus out of the nasal passageways to relieve congestion and swelling.
  • Antihistamine/decongestants combine the effects of both drugs.
  • Antihistamine eye drops block the histamine that leads to the allergic reaction.
  • Allergy shots expose your body to gradually increasing doses of the allergen until you become tolerant to it. They can relieve your symptoms for a longer period of time than oral and nasal allergy medications. Although they don't work for everyone, in people who do see a response, allergy shots can hold off symptoms for a few years.
Even though you can buy some allergy medications without a prescription, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor first to make sure you choose the right medication. Some antihistamines can make you feel sleepy, so you need to be careful when taking them during the day (although non-drowsy formulations are also available). Read the packaging label -- some of these products are only meant to be used for a few days.
Managing Fall Allergies
Here are a few tips for easing fall allergy symptoms:
  • Stay indoors with the doors and windows closed when pollen is at its peak (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) to avoid being exposed to your allergy triggers
  • . To keep track of the pollen count in your area, visit the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology web site (www.aaaai.org).
  • Before you turn on your heat for the first time, have your heating ducts cleaned. Particles of mold and other allergens can become trapped in the vents over the summer and will fill the air as soon as you crank up the furnace.
  • Use a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter in your heating system to remove pollen, mold, and other particles from the air.
  • Use a humidifier to keep your air at between 35 and 50 percent humidity.
  • Wear a mask when you rake leaves to avoid inhaling mold spores.
To avoid food allergies:
  • Pack lunch for children with allergies, and tell them not to share food with their friends.
  • Inform the school about your child's allergies, and if the allergy is severe, leave an epinephrine pen with the school nurse.
  • Don't let kids eat any Halloween candy until you've first checked it for allergy triggers.

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