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The allergy in autumn, contrary to appearances, increases. After the summer, the leaves fall from the dust-free trees, the grains disappear from the fields, and the grass loses its greenery and stops sensitizing it, but the allergy season is not over. Some allergens are still active in September, October and November. What causes allergies in the fall? What is autumn allergy treatment? These and other questions are answered by Dr. Zygmunt Nowacki, MD, specialist in children's diseases, allergist, lecturer at the Polish Society for Combating Allergic Diseases.


  1. Allergy in autumn - pollen
  2. Allergy in autumn - molds and fungi
  3. Allergy in autumn - dust mites
  4. Allergy in autumn - prevention and treatment
    • How to help yourself?
    • Allergy medications
    • Desensitization

Allergydoesn't end with summer.In autumnallergy sufferers also have a hard time, because then allergies are caused by some plants, as well as "home" allergens - incl. molds and dust mites.

Allergy in autumn - pollen

Pollen allergy, an allergy to pollen from wind-pollinated plants, is sometimes associated primarily with spring and summer. However, autumn, although it is not full of such a large amount of plant allergens in the air, also carries pollen threats for allergy sufferers.

The September pollen calendar shows the pollen activity of weeds. Among them, we should distinguish the most abundantly dusty and most sensitizing weed in Poland - mugwort.

The pollen allergy of this plant ranks third (after grasses and birch trees) on the list of the most common causes of allergic rhinitis and allergic conjunctivitis in our country.

These symptoms, in combination with mugwort dust, are most often observed in late summer, but the risk of their occurrence, although much lower, is still possible in September and even October.

Early autumn air may also contain small amounts of quinoa pollen, lupine, plantain, nettle or couch grass.

The "black list" of autumn airborne allergens is closed by ambrosia - blooming in August but remaining in the air until the end of October. This weed is especially expansive in North America.

Allergy to ragweed pollen affects up to 50% of American pollinosis patients. The presence of pollen in Polandambrosia was recorded, among others in Szczecin, Lublin, Kraków, Rzeszów, Sosnowiec, Opole and Wrocław. However, its concentration is relatively low - it does not exceed 20-30 grains per 1 m3 of air.

People who are allergic to ragweed, as well as people who are allergic to weed pollen (especially mugwort), may be at risk of cross allergy.

- This type of hypersensitivity manifests itself most frequently in Oral allergy syndrome (OAS). This happens when some of the proteins present in plant pollen are chemically similar to the food allergens in some fruits and vegetables.

If allergens have identical or very similar elements, IgE antibodies probably do not recognize differences in their structure, and "by mistake" attack all similar proteins - explains Dr. Zygmunt Nowacki, specialist in children's diseases , allergologist, lecturer at the Polish Society for Combating Allergic Diseases.

Allergy in autumn - molds and fungi

There are two "mysterious" Latin names in the pollen calendar: Alternaria and Cladosporium. These are terms that define the families of mold fungi - another allergen that is exceptionally active in the fall.

The popular term fungus and mold allergy essentially means hypersensitivity to mold fungi, commonly known as molds.

They reproduce particularly intensively at high levels of air humidity (over 70%) - typical for rainy autumn - and at temperatures between 16 and 35 ° C.

They most often inhabit the soil environment, feeding on plant and animal remains. We will certainly meet them in parks, forests and gardens, piled up with damp, autumn leaves.

It is worth noting that the number of fungal spores significantly exceeds the number of pollen grains present in the air. However, they are much smaller than these particles (one grass pollen grain is approx. 200 spores of the species Cladosporium herbarum, and approx. 300 Aspergillus fumigatus).

The presence of mold in the air is recorded almost all year round, especially in summer and autumn. Only a very cold winter and heavy snowfall can reduce the level of mold spores in the external environment to zero. The home environment is also not free from them.

Potted plants, wooden summer houses, gazebos, saunas, swimming pools and rooms with high humidity, poor ventilation and limited access to light, such as basements, laundries, bathrooms and kitchens, are also often "inhabited" by this type of allergens.

The characteristic musty smell informs us about their presence. Additionally, the so-calledallergy to fungi and molds may coexist with hypersensitivity to other inhaled allergens, mainly pollen and house dust mites.

Allergy in autumn - dust mites

With the advent of colder, autumn months, we spend more and more time indoors. Unfortunately, modern housing habits cannot necessarily be called he althy.

Central heating significantly increases the air temperature in rooms, tight windows that prevent air circulation and rich interior fittings favoring the deposition of dust create an ideal environment for the multiplication of allergenic mites.

These are microscopic spiders that live in house dust. Their highest concentration is found in beds, mattresses, carpets, carpets, upholstered furniture and stuffed animals. That is why allergies to dust and mites appear most often when cleaning, sweeping, vacuuming or making the bed.

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In turn, the development of these microorganisms is favored by: increased temperature (approx. 23-25 ​​° C), high humidity (over 75%) and constant access to food, which is primarily human epidermis (peeled off during the day is food for thousands of mites).

- The multiplication of mites usually begins at the end of summer, so in the period from August to October they are the most numerous. In recent years, it has been observed that the 38th week of the year (end of September) is the time when doctors report an increased number of asthma exacerbations.

This is probably related to the mite life cycle. In winter, their number decreases as air humidity decreases as a result of apartment heating.

However, the amount of mite allergens (and especially their highly sensitizing faeces) does not decrease, because the circulation of warm air favors the spread of their antigens - explains Dr. Zygmunt Nowacki, MD, PhD.

Allergy in autumn - prevention and treatment

1. How to help yourself?

Always up-to-date - regardless of the season - the method of combating allergies is simply to avoid allergens. For this purpose, it is worth following a few basic rules.

First of all - those who are allergic to weed pollen are not advised to take autumn walks in fields, meadows, wastelands, country paths, rocky slopes, around old houses and rubbish dumps, especially during pollen rush hours, i.e. 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. .

Second - allergic to molds should avoid old, decayed trees, piles of damp leaves,give up potted plants at home and react immediately to any traces of fungi on the walls, window frames or door frames.

Thirdly - allergies to dust and mites require frequent airing of rooms, regular cleaning with a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to prevent the spread of allergens, and at least twice a week with wet cleaning of the floor.

Worth knowing

According to the doctor's advice:

- Any interior design elements that may accumulate dust (carpets, curtains, books, CDs, knick-knacks, stuffed animals) should be eliminated from the open space. The latter can often not be denied to a child. Therefore, it is best to buy two identical cuddly toys. While one "sleeps" with the baby, the other can "spend the night" in the freezer. And so for a change. Even a 24-hour freezing at -22 degrees C destroys mites.

2. Allergy medications

Allergy to dust mites, weed pollen or molds also requires the initiation of appropriate pharmacotherapy in order to inhibit the symptoms of hypersensitivity, which include: watery discharge, sneezing, itching and stuffy nose, and allergic conjunctivitis.

Autumn allergy sufferers, like the rest, are first recommended antihistamines that block the activity of histamine - a substance responsible for the development of allergic inflammation.

Taking into account the fact that autumn is also the beginning of intensive learning in kindergarten, school, and college, as well as the time of increased work after the holiday season, it is worth reaching for preparations that do not disturb our cognitive and psychomotor functions.

First generation antihistamines - e.g. antazoline or ketotifen - have this type of action. This is because older antihistaminics blocked not only the histamine H1 receptor, but many others, and penetrated the blood-brain barrier, causing sleepiness and concentration disorders.

In contrast to them, second-generation antihistamines - especially the newest ones, including bilastine or fexofenadine - show high affinity for the H1 receptor, which means that they are devoid of sedative effect.

Hence, preparations containing e.g. bilastine are characterized by a higher safety and tolerance profile in therapy.

However, the clinical effect of this active substance lasts up to 24 hours, and the onset of action takes place in the second hour after administration of the agent.

3. Desensitization

When avoiding a pathogenic allergen is difficult or even impossible, and pharmacological agents are only temporary help, it is worth considering desensitization (immunotherapy).

It is a method of treating the causal allergic diseases. Its essence consists in administering to the patient increasing doses of the allergen that sensitizes him until he develops a tolerance to him.

- The vaccine can be administered subcutaneously or orally. This usually takes place every 7-14 days, and the dose is gradually increased. After reaching the maximum dose tolerated by the body, it can be repeated every 4-6 weeks for 3-5 years. In another scheme, desensitization is carried out 2-3 months before the pollen season - explains the doctor and concludes:

- Allergy to weed pollen, mites and molds in many patients is successfully treated with this method. However, it is not used in patients with poorly controlled asthma and systemic diseases such as visceral lupus, cancer, chronic infectious, bacterial or viral diseases.

Read also:

  • What is dusting in September? Which pollen causes an allergy in September?
  • What is dusting in October? Which pollen causes an allergy in October?
  • Chronic diseases whose symptoms worsen in autumn

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