The leaves changing colors and falling is beautiful, but can also bring in fall allergies. Allergies can affect people in the spring, summer, fall, winter, during multiple seasons, or year-round. Different times of year bring different allergens (things that you react to and lead to allergy symptoms).
Some allergies are easy to identify by the pattern or symptoms that follow exposure to particular substances, but others may not be as obvious and masquerade as other conditions. Here are some common things that may lead you to suspect your child may have environmental allergies. Repeated or cold-like symptoms that last more than a week or two, or that develop the same time every year could be allergies. These symptoms could include runny nose, nasal stuffiness, sneezing, throat clearing, nose rubbing, sniffling, snorting, itchy, runny eyes or an itchy throat or nose. Itchiness is not usually a complaint with a cold, but is very common with allergies.
Environmental allergies can be due to tree and grass pollens, weed pollens, molds, dust mites, or animals. Outdoor allergens typically are the cause of seasonal allergies that flare during certain seasons. Year-round allergies can be a combination of outdoor and indoor, but often have an indoor allergy trigger. The most common indoor allergens are dust mites, animal dander and molds. Grass pollens are common in the spring and summer, tree pollens are common in the late winter and early spring, but weed pollen and some mold is common in the late summer and fall.
If you think your child may be experiencing allergies, please consult with your child’s pediatrician for treatment and prevention strategies. For more information, please see this article on Seasonal Allergies in Children from Healthy Children magazine.