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Autumn—ragweed pollen, dust mites, mold
One of the most common fall allergy triggers is ragweed pollen. While the yellow flowering plant begins to bloom in August, it continues into the fall months until cold weather kills it off. A single ragweed plant can produce one billion grains of pollen. Ragweed pollen can travel easily on the wind, which means it can affect you even if you don’t have it growing nearby.
Dust mites are another major cause of fall allergies. These microscopic insects thrive during the summer months, feeding off the flakes of skin shed naturally by your family and pets. As many as 20 million Americans are allergic to proteins found in the mites’ bodies and feces. And when you turn on your furnace that first chilly fall morning, this waste can be blown all over your home, causing allergies to flare. In fact, a study by the American Thoracic Society noted that emergency clinic admissions for asthma increase with the first seasonal uses of indoor heating.
Then there’s mold. As the weather turns cool and damp in fall, mold spores breed outdoors in fallen leaves, gardens, compost piles and yard waste. The spores are small, light and easily inhaled into the lungs. Mold spores are a powerful allergen that can cause the immune system to overreact, resulting in coughing, restricted breathing and asthma symptoms.
This online publication is brought to you by IQAir North America, Inc., a member of the Swiss-based IQAir Group that develops, manufactures and markets innovative air purifiers and air quality products for indoor environments around the globe. IQAir is the exclusive educational partner of the American Lung Association for the air purifier industry.