If you suffer from year-round allergies as I do, then there’s not a whole lot to look forward to in terms of relief from allergy symptoms no matter what time of year it is. People like us tend to be allergic to both indoor and outdoor allergens.
But if you’re one of the “luckier” people with seasonal allergies, then you might be thinking now that the nights are cooler and less things are actively blooming, that relief is finally in sight. Right? Right?
Well, unfortunately, that may not be true. Here’s the thing if you’re allergic to mold spores, you could be moving into one of the most active allergy seasons of the year (depending on where you live).
Mold spores often live in dark, decaying spaces like piles of dead leaves lying on the ground, especially in the woods, where soil may also harbor mold spores.
If you notice your allergy symptoms getting worse in October, mold spores might be one of your allergy triggers.
As with most allergy triggers, your best bet is to avoid them as much as you can. For instance, don’t shuffle through or play in large piles of downed leaves. Raking isn’t really a great idea either, unless you wear a mask with a HEPA filter in it. In fact, even being in the vicinity or leaves that are getting raked isn’t wise.
Taking walks in the woods and gardening in outdoor soil can also trigger allergy symptoms in those who are allergic to mold. If you must be outside under these conditions, then change your clothes as soon as you come inside and shower, to remove any mold spores that may be clinging to your clothes and/or hair.
The bottom line is that although many believe the first frost will bring an end to seasonal allergy symptoms that are triggered by pollen, this may not be true if you are allergic to mold spores.
Kathi is an experienced consumer health education writer, with a prior career in nursing that spanned more than 30 years — much of it in the field of home health care. Over the past 15 years, she’s been an avid contributor for a number of consumer health websites, specializing in asthma, allergy, and COPD. She writes not only as a healthcare professional, but also as a lifelong sufferer of severe allergies and mild asthma, and as a caregiver for her mother with COPD.