Fall Means Cooler Temps. But Dry Eye Symptoms May Heat Up.
We know that allergies (and itchy, irritated eyes) can ramp up in Spring. They will again in the season just around the corner: Autumn. Fall can be a bad time for allergy symptoms, which can be very similar to dry eye symptoms. So as a follow up to our allergy testing blog, we’ve included some examples of the types of allergens typically most active in the fall. Advanced ocular allergy testing can identify these and other common allergens to effectively diagnose if its allergies, dry eyes, or both.
Mold & Fungus Allergens
Alternaria Alternata (Mold) | Highest concentration: Late summer to early autumn. It is one of the most prevalent and invasive molds, found in plants, substrates, foods, soils, textiles, dust, water, buildings and air conditioners.
Epicoccum Nigrum (Fungus) | Highest concentration: Late summer and autumn. This fungus is most aggressive to plants and seeds, and is known to cause the greatest sensitivity to skin.
Baccharis | Highest concentration: July to October. This refers to several varieties of flora commonly called “groundsel tree,” “seepwillow,” “false willow,’ and “desert broom.”
Nettle | Highest concentration: Summer to late autumn. Nettle is found in forests, wastelands and abandoned building sites. Ironically it is used to treat a litany of ailments.
Tree & Bush Allergens
Cedar Elm | Highest concentration: Late summer through autumn
Also called the “Texas Cedar Elm,” it’s primarily found in the lower half of the U.S., and considered a severe allergen.
Marsh Elder | Highest concentration: Summer to mid autumn
Also called “Rough Marsh Elder,” it’s one of the greatest causes of hay fever and has a similar reactivity to Ragweed.
Mesquite | Highest concentration: Late spring to late autumn
Commonly called “Honey Mesquite,” it’s often used for grills and smokers. Those with sensitivity should limit exposure when burning.
Wingscale | Highest concentration: Fall
Also known as Fourwing Saltbush. It blooms in July and August which makes allergies to this plant common in the fall.
Weed & Grass Allergens
Cocklebur | Highest concentration: Early summer to mid-autumn
Typically found in rundown and abandoned pastures, ditches fields and waste areas.
Lamb’s Quarter | Highest concentration: Mid-summer to autumn
Thrives in moist, rich soil. Those with sensitivity should guard their lawns against these weeds.
Ragweed Mix | Highest concentration: Early autumn to mid winter.
As a weed, there is also a variation called “Western Ragweed Mix.” Both contribute greatly to hay fever. As a grass, it is a perennial that can be found nearly anywhere.
Western Water Hemp | Highest concentration: Summer and autumn
Also called “Tall Amaranth,” it’s found in swampy, boggy areas and as an aggressive weed in yards and landscapes.
Yellow or Curly Dock | Highest concentration: Early summer through autumn
A similar reactivity to Ragweed, it’s best to avoid being outdoors on warm, dry days when these pollen counts are high.