Greater Peoria Metro Area, IL

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Understanding Fall Allergies


Submitted by Peoria ENT

Allergies can happen anytime, but some people may be more prone to allergies at certain times of the year. The triggers may be different, but the symptoms can be the same—itchy nose and eyes, watery eyes, runny nose, and sneezing can all be signs of fall allergies.

Ragweed is one of the biggest allergy triggers in the fall. Though it usually starts to release pollen in August, it can last through September well into October. A majority of people (75 percent) who are allergic to spring plants also have reactions to ragweed, and ragweed pollen can travel for hundreds of miles on the wind. For that reason, certain fruits and vegetables can also cause symptoms. Irritants can also include specific types of pollen and other weeds, which can all pick up towards the end of summer and carry into fall. Mold also thrives in damp indoor and outdoor environments (such as leaf piles and rotten logs).

Fall allergy symptoms are often overlooked as they overlap with the common cold or flu season. The first step in treating an allergy is an accurate diagnosis by an immunologist or allergist, usually involving either skin pricks and/or blood tests. This determines whether symptoms are caused by an allergy and if so, what triggers the allergy as accurately as possible. The diagnosis will determine appropriate treatment options or clinical intervention if avoidance of the irritant (trigger) is not an option.

Treatments can include control of symptoms (such as antihistamine creams or pills, steroid creams, inhalers, or auto-injectors), avoiding the allergens (mainly used for allergies caused by food, drugs, venom, latex, or pet dander), rescue medications for acute tongue swelling or anaphylaxis, or immunotherapy (allergy shots containing just enough of a specific allergen to stimulate your immune system but not enough to cause a full reaction). Over time, your body builds up a tolerance to the allergen.

Anyone with allergies or asthma should be able to feel good, be active all day and sleep well at night. You don’t have to accept less. Our Board-Certified Allergist, Dr. Julie Klemens, M.D., and her highly skilled team can help you find relief so you can get back to enjoying life.

For more information, please visit our website at or call (309) 589-5900.