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Fall Allergies in St. Louis, Missouri

Learn about fall allergies in St. Louis, Missouri from a board-certified seasonal allergist. Dr. Sonia Cajigal specializes in testing for fall allergies and fall allergy treatment. Contact us today to schedule your visit!

“Had my first appointment with Dr. Cajigal. She’s wonderful. A different doctor had said there wasn’t much I could do for my allergies, except maybe move out of state. I was desperate and came to Dr. Cajigal for help. She listened and was very thorough in diagnosing my problems. ”

– Rosana B, November 2021

Fall allergies in St. Louis Missouri explained by Dr. Sonia Cajigal
Fall allergy Doctor Sonia Cajigal of St. Louis Family Allergy review badges and affiliations

About Fall Allergies in St. Louis

Fall Allergies Overview
Fall Allergy Symptoms
Testing for Fall Allergies
Fall Allergy Treatment
Allergies are often associated with spring and summer when trees, grass, and other vegetation are at the peak of their annual pollination cycles. However, certain pollens become more prevalent during the fall.

Fall allergy season in St. Louis starts with the bloom of ragweed in August and usually peaks in mid-September. Burning bush, cocklebur, lamb’s-quarters, mugwort, pigweed, russian thistle, sagebrush, and tumbleweed pollen are also prevalent in the Missouri fall time, and remain active until the first frost of winter.

In addition to fall vegetation, decaying grass and leaves also contribute to an increase in mold spores. Mold grows quickly during rainy periods, and also during hot and humid periods. This makes mold particularly prevalent in the midwestern fall, where weather can quickly shift between warm and humid, and damp and cool.

Perennial (year-round) allergies like indoor mold, pets, dust, and dust mites can also get worse in the Missouri fall due to the changing weather, and because individuals tend to spend more time indoors as the weather gets cooler.

Fall Allergy Relief

in St. Louis, Missouri

Ragweed fall allergies in St. Louis Missouri

Fall Allergy Symptoms

The symptoms of fall allergies are similar to those of other seasonal allergies. The most common symptoms of fall allergies include any or all of the following:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy, red eyes
  • Coughing
  • Itchy mouth and lips
  • Asthma symptoms such as wheezing, shortness of breath, or chest tightness

It’s also possible for winter allergies in Missouri to trigger more severe symptoms, including:

  • Hives
  • Worsening eczema
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Wheezing
  • Upset stomach

Every allergy sufferer’s experience can be unique.

Fall Allergies vs Spring Allergies

Many allergy sufferers are curious about the differences between fall allergies and spring allergies. Allergy symptoms are similar between the two seasons, but the causes of fall allergies and spring allergies can vary significantly. Fall allergies are more often caused by ragweed, whereas spring allergies are typically caused by pollinating trees and grass. Mold can be prevalent during both fall and spring. Depending on what you’re allergic to, you might experience worse symptoms during the fall or the spring.
See a Fall Allergy Specialist

in St. Louis, Missouri

Mold on wet leaves causing fall allergies in St. Louis Missouri

Testing for Fall Allergies

Fall allergies can be caused by one of many distinct allergens, which is why it’s important to get a formal diagnosis from a board-certified allergist. Testing for fall allergies begins with a detailed medical history where Dr. Cajigal will ask you about your symptoms and when you’ve experienced them. Fall allergies can have a strong environmental component, so details about your home, your work, your pets, and other environmental factors are critical for Dr. Cajigal to diagnose the cause of your fall allergies.

A fall allergy diagnosis can usually be confirmed with a simple skin prick test, but Dr. Cajigal may order intradermal testing or blood testing as needed if a skin prick test is inconclusive or cannot be performed.

Fall Allergy Treatment

Fall allergy treatment consists of allergy avoidance techniques, environmental modifications, and medications to relieve symptoms. Allergy shots may also be an option depending on what you’re allergic to.

Avoiding Fall Allergens

These tips can help you minimize your exposure to allergens during the fall allergy season:

  • Check your local pollen counts whenever you check the weather
  • Limit outdoor activities during times of high pollen counts
  • Wear sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat to reduce pollen exposure when outdoors
  • Change clothes as soon as you get home if you’ve spent a lot of time outdoors

When you visit us at St. Louis Family Allergy, Dr. Cajigal will have additional recommendations for you based on your unique case.

Removing Fall Allergens from Your Home

Your home or work environment could be a significant source of allergy exposure. If you continue to experience symptoms despite the above precautions, thoroughly cleaning your home is a good next step to reduce your fall allergen exposure. Be mindful of mold, damp rooms, dust, and pets. Though not exhaustive, the list below provides some of the more common suggestions to minimize mold, dust, and pet dander allergens in your home.

  • Wash your bed linens and pillowcases in hot water and detergent frequently to reduce allergens
  • Steam clean carpets or remove carpets altogether, especially if they tend to get damp
  • Vacuum with a HEPA filter to reduce dust in your home
  • Use dust mite proof covers for pillows, comforters, duvets, mattresses and box springs
  • Regularly clean garbage cans and refrigerator drip pans
  • Regularly clean your gutters and ensure drainage flows away from your home’s foundation
  • Quickly clean up any spills, leaks, or messes to prevent mold from growing
  • Keep pets out of the bedroom to reduce pet dander in your bedding
  • Keep pets off of upholstered furniture
  • Consider replacing upholstered furniture to minimize pet dander accumulation

Some of this advice only applies if you have a specific allergy. When you visit us at St. Louis Family Allergy, Dr. Cajigal will provide personalized advice for your unique circumstances.

Fall Allergy Medications

Medications can be used to prevent fall allergy symptoms if taken prior to exposure, and they can also provide relief when an allergic reaction occurs. Antihistamines, eye drops, and nasal sprays are commonly used to treat fall allergy symptoms either proactively or reactively. Dr. Cajigal can help you identify which medications are right for you.

Allergy Shots (Immunotherapy)

Allergy shots may be an effective long-term treatment for your winter allergies. Allergy shots are often referred to as a ‘curative therapy’ because they can prevent future allergic reactions and allow you to safely tolerate higher levels of whatever you’re allergic to. Visit us at St. Louis Family Allergy to learn more about this option.

References

[1] American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: https://acaai.org/
[2] Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: https://www.aafa.org/
More Specialties

Asthma

Drug Allergies

Eye Allergies

Food Allergies

Nasal Allergies

Skin Allergies

Allergy Shots

Allergy Testing

Biologic Therapy

Fall Allergy Specialist Dr. Sonia Cajigal of St. Louis Family Allergy in St. Louis, Missouri

Fall Allergy Specialist
Dr. Sonia Cajigal

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"Dr. Cajigal was friendly, professional, and informative. She took the time to explain the tests and what was going on with my allergies. She is so knowledgeable and really cared about how I was feeling. I would highly recommend this practice if you suffer from allergies and asthma."

- Sue D, July 2020

“Dr Cajigal is a great listener. She trusts her patients instead of treating them as if they are not the experts of their own bodies. I really appreciate that (many doctors do not have that quality). She also immediately treats the symptoms instead of waiting to see if things clear. I use her for my children and myself. We have never left her office feeling as if it was a waste of time.”

– Stephanie, August 2020

"Great Allergist!"

- Ann H, December 2018

"She is the best."

- Stephen W, June 2020

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