The Basics of Allergens
For some people allergy season feels like something that lasts all year, although generally people agree that fall allergies are the worst. The most common allergy symptoms are itchy or watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose, and sinus congestion.
But what causes allergies? Well, one of the common names for allergies, hay fever, points us in the right direction to understand allergy triggers. Some people are sensitive to certain environmental irritants, including pollen, dust mite droppings, or mold spores.
This sensitivity varies from person to person and is the result of an overreaction of your immune system. In fact, the symptoms of allergies are actually your body’s immune response and are not typically caused by the allergen itself. An important exception to this is mold – which both causes allergic reactions in addition to its own health problems.
What Allergens are most common in Fall?
While South Carolina’s fall season is known for the beauty of leaves changing color and a pleasant crispness to the air, it is also known for allergies.
If your allergies always flare up in the Fall then ragweed is a likely culprit. In South Carolina there are two species of ragweed, and both begin to bloom in late August and will continue making us miserable until the first hard frost. Unfortunately, as the climate warms we can expect ragweed season to last longer.