Nothing can ruin your day quite like some bad seasonal allergies can. Your eyes start to water and itch, your nose clogs up, and you just feel terrible and uncomfortable – and there’s not much you can do about it. Of course, you certainly aren’t alone here as 24.4 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies.

But have you ever noticed that there are certain times of the year when your allergies really start to act up? Most of us think that springtime is the worst for allergies since this is when common allergens like grass, plants, and trees start to bloom. But allergies in the fall actually tend to be quite worse for many people.

A recent study conducted in Hungary compared the prevalence of rhinitis symptoms (allergic reactions affecting the nose and sinus) throughout the year. The study concluded that people’s allergies were far higher in the late summer and early fall seasons compared to the spring.

 So, what causes fall allergies – and what can you do if your allergies start to act up?

A. The Fall Season is also Ragweed Season

The real reason why allergies in the fall can be so intense is because of ragweed, a North American plant that expels far higher levels of pollen than average. This plant can be found virtually everywhere throughout the US, and its pollen can be carried in the wind for up to 2 miles! Unfortunately, the plant starts to pollinate towards the middle of August, peaking right when the fall season begins.
About 15% of the US population has an allergy to ragweed specifically. This can trigger an allergic reaction when you breathe it in or get it near your eyes. The most common symptoms of ragweed are:
  • A runny or stuffed-up nose
  • Excessive sneezing
  • Itchy, red eyes
  • Asthma flare-ups

When you experience all of these symptoms together, it is often called allergic rhinitis, or more commonly as hay fever. One reason many people don’t think they have fall allergies is that the symptoms can be similar to the common cold, which people are more prone to catch in the colder months.

If you notice that you develop these symptoms nearly every year from late August through October, ragweed is likely to blame. You can schedule a diagnostic allergy test to see if this is the trigger.

B. Mold Spore Growth Can Also Contribute to Fall Allergies

If you aren’t allergic to ragweed but still get fall allergies, mold spores could be the root cause. It may surprise you to learn that mold grows more quickly in the fall because of the damp weather conditions most areas experience.

During the fall, the moisture in the air is often trapped indoors as temperatures drop. During the summer, we have the windows open or the AC blasting – but this stops once the fall season rolls around. This creates the perfect environment indoors for mold to start forming.

Mold also grows quite well outside, especially in-between the fallen leaves on the ground. The morning dew or leftover moisture from rainfall can lead to mold growth. The spores can then be released by the wind or when you rake up the leaf piles.

Mold-related allergy symptoms include:

  • Itchy, irritated eyes
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Asthma flare-ups

This fall-time allergy is not only annoying – it can be quite dangerous. Long-term exposure to mold spores is extremely harmful and can lead to health issues like autoimmune disease and respiratory infections. If you have any mold allergy symptoms, you should look into mold removal solutions.

C. Climate Change Could Only Make Things Worse

Unfortunately, fall allergies will never just go away. And there is some evidence that they will only get worse as time goes on. According to the CDC, fall pollen allergies are expected to increase due to the higher amount of CO2 emissions caused by climate change.
An increase in carbon dioxide along with rising temperatures will cause pollen seasons to begin even earlier. Further, plants will likely start to produce more pollen, meaning that allergies in the fall will only get worse.

So, what can you do to treat fall allergies?

D. Fall Allergy Treatment Options

Thankfully, there are some solutions to help manage fall pollen allergies and mold-related allergic reactions. An over-the-counter antihistamine is typically the main remedy people turn to when allergy symptoms strike. However, this only decreases symptoms slightly and can cause side effects like drowsiness.

But riding out fall allergies is not a good idea. Long-term issues like nasal congestion can lead to sinus issues, such as infections or chronic sinusitis. This will make it very hard to breathe and it can even be quite painful.
One solution to help you deal with severe fall allergies is to try ozone therapy. Ozone produced from oxygen helps to improve cellular functions and stimulates antioxidant molecules and immune system responses.

Ozone can be injected into the nasal cavity through the nose, which helps to drain built-up mucus and clear out the cavities. This provides nearly instant relief from fall allergies and helps to treat even long-term sinusitis.


If your fall allergy symptoms are getting in the way of your daily life, know that there are treatment options available. Here at the Institute of Progressive Medicine, we believe that all treatments need to be personalized for each patient. There is no such thing as one-size-fits-all care – which is why we offer customized treatment plans for all of our patients.

To learn more about our treatment offerings and to schedule an initial appointment, please give us a call at 949-600-5100 orreach out to us online.