If you have asthma, you know all too well how scary an asthma attack can be. If you don’t have asthma, it’s hard to fully appreciate what it’s like not to be able to breathe and the panic that can cause. As an allergist/immunologist asthma specialist, I hear statements like this a lot from my patients with asthma, which is why I offer this blog to help people understand what things can trigger an asthma attack and just as importantly, how to avoid them.
Most people think that spring and summer are the worst seasons for allergies, but fall is not far behind, bringing with it these unpleasant and annoying symptoms:
- Watery, itchy, irritated eyes
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- Rashes or hives
- Itchy throat
- In severe cases, trouble breathing or anaphylaxis (a life-threatening allergic reaction)
Even though ice, snow and freezing temperatures bring an end to pollen, many people still suffer from winter allergies, primarily due to more time spent indoors. In fact, the most common allergens—house dust mites, animal dander, cockroach droppings, fabric fiber, bacteria and forced-air furnaces circulating airborne dust—are actually worse in winter when there is less ventilation. For allergy sufferers, the old saying “Home is where the heart is” could be “Home is where the allergens are.”
For many people with allergies, spring is the worst season of the year. But here at Westchester Health, we’ve observed that for a large number of our patients, fall is right behind it in severity. People with nasal and eye allergies, as well as asthma, often suffer throughout the fall, from late August thru November.
For people in the Northeast with allergies, Spring is the worst season but Fall can be almost as troublesome. From late August thru November, watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, a stuffy nose and asthma are often the order of the day.