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By our Smarty friends at Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A.
With this the fall school season officially under way, it’s almost inevitable that one day soon your child will come home with a runny nose, watery eyes and a bad cough. These are the classic signs of a common cold, right?
Sometimes, but they may also be symptomatic of fall allergies. While most of us associate allergies with the spring, they can be just as common in the fall due to ragweed pollen, mold and dust mites. Ragweed, which begins pollinating in August, often lingers into September and October and is the most common fall allergy trigger.
Avoiding these triggers can be difficult in the fall, when many families head outdoors to enjoy pumpkin patches, corn mazes and hayrides (is it any wonder “allergic rhinitis” is also known as “hay fever”?). Pollen is at its peak between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. If you’re heading outside, try to do so before or after this period when allergy triggers are most prevalent. Because particulates of mold and other allergens can circulate throughout your HVAC system, it’s important to use air filters that will catch these particulates. You should also consider having your heating ducts cleaned before turning on the heat for the first time this year.
There are many ways to treat allergies, including antihistamines, nasal sprays, decongestants and immunotherapy (allergy shots). Before recommending one of these treatment options, however, our trained technicians will administer allergy testing to see exactly which substances trigger your allergic reaction. We do this via skin tests, which cause a mild discomfort when the skin is pricked.
You can purchase many allergy-relief products on store shelves, but using them may be futile if you do not know exactly what is triggering your child’s allergic reactions. If you or your child has symptoms such as a runny nose, watery or itchy eyes, sneezing or coughing, please give us a call at 704-295-3000 to see if our allergy department can help.