The WellSpan Spotlight

Health and wellness

Fall is in the air and so are allergies

Fall is in the air and so are allergies

Just as you begin to enjoy the cozy fall weather, fall allergies arrive.

Most people associate allergies with the spring season; however, the peak season is just around the corner. Both fall and spring allergies cause the same misery: sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes. But there are some differences in the two types of allergies.

Fall vs. Spring

Dr. Joshua Dunklebarger, of WellSpan ENT and Hearing Services in Chambersburg, says the two season's allergies are caused by different natural triggers.

"The major difference between fall and spring allergies is the actual allergen. In the spring, there are more trees and pollen allergies. In the fall, it is more of the mold allergies." Dr. Dunklebarger said.

Fall allergies occur at the end of summer, as the temperatures start to decrease and more humidity collects on the grass and trees.

The remedies

While many are enjoying the start of fall with fall fests, apple picking, and hayrides, some may be rushing to the drug store for over-the-counter allergy medications and tissues.

Dr. Dunklebarger recommends trying different over-the-counter medications, to find one that works.

"Each of these medications affect people differently and one may be more effective than another," he says. "In addition, we recommend a topical nasal steroid spray."

Dunklebarger also recommends a saline nasal irrigation similar to a netipot. Another trick is to shower prior to going to sleep in order to remove all allergens from the skin.

Other tips

Don't wait to start taking action against allergies, Dr. Dunklebarger says.

"If you have fall allergies, it is best to start an oral antihistamine, nasal steroid spray, and nasal irrigation immediately," he says

It works best to be consistent with the use of the nasal steroid spray. He recommends using it every day for two weeks in order to maximize effectiveness. Those with glaucoma should not use these sprays.

When to see a physician

You may make it through the season by using over-the-counter remedies or even taking that warm shower before bed. But, if you're tired of that routine and your allergies aren't appropriately relieved by Dr. Dunklebarger's recommendations, make an appointment with a physician.

Allergy testing may be your best bet, which can be completed by skin or blood allergy tests.

Spring and fall have their fair share of troublesome allergies. Depending on what you're allergic to and how allergic you are, will tell which season is worse for you.