Expert tips to effectively manage seasonal allergies

The most effective ways to manage autumn allergies both outdoors and indoors. Picture: Pavel Danilyuk/Pexels

The most effective ways to manage autumn allergies both outdoors and indoors. Picture: Pavel Danilyuk/Pexels

Published Apr 15, 2024


South Africa is experiencing a change of seasons and many people are starting to feel some health discomforts, especially allergies.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that around 25% of adults and 20% of kids are affected by seasonal allergies, which are quite common in the autumn.

Symptoms of allergies often begin in late summer and can last until the start of spring. Even though there isn't a cure for allergies, there are several ways to help manage the symptoms.

Independent Media Lifestyle talked to Lizeth Kruger, a Clinic Executive at Dis-Chem Baby City, to find out the best ways to deal with allergy symptoms during this period.

Kruger explained why as the weather cools down and the leaves start to fall, some individuals find their seasonal allergies flaring up more than usual: "During autumn, there's a spike in pollen grains in the air, coupled with the seasonal change, which can worsen allergies.”

Experts recommend use of antihistamines during seasonal changes. Picture: Karolina Grabowska/Pexels

But what's exactly in the air making allergy sufferers so miserable?

“Ragweed pollen, mould, and dust mites become much more common in the autumn," Kruger revealed.

There's a significant increase in these allergens as the season changes, making autumn a challenging time for those sensitive to them.

"Both spring and autumn see a rise in allergy cases," Kruger pointed out. "However, in autumn, fallen leaves provide a perfect breeding ground for mould, a major allergy trigger."

This combination of factors makes autumn a peak season for allergies, with mould from damp leaves and indoor allergens like dust mites contributing to the seasonal discomfort experienced by many.

The most effective ways to manage autumn allergies both outdoors and indoors:

Nasal hygiene.

Keep the house as far as possible dust/mold free.

Use long-term antihistamines during seasonal changes.

Autumn allergies can present a range of symptoms that vary in severity from person to person. Common symptoms to watch out for include:

Nasal Symptoms include:


Runny nose

Nasal congestion

Itchy nose

Eye Symptoms:

Itchy eyes

Red eyes

Watery eyes

Swelling around the eyes

Respiratory Symptoms:



Shortness of breath

Chest tightness, especially in those with allergic asthma

These symptoms can mimic those of a cold but a key difference is the duration; allergy symptoms can last for weeks or as long as the allergen is present, whereas colds typically resolve within 7 to 10 days.

If you notice these symptoms worsening during autumn or persisting beyond the usual time frame of a cold, you may be experiencing autumn allergies.

It's important to consult a healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan tailored to your specific needs and symptoms.

For those dealing with asthma, be aware that it can be triggered or worsened by allergies. Health officials urge anyone who doesn't see an improvement with over-the-counter medication or prevention efforts to consult their healthcare provider.

When it comes to battling autumn allergies, don't underestimate the power of a good diet. "A well-balanced diet boosts your immune system," Kruger said.

A stronger immune response can mean fewer allergy symptoms.

“A nutritious diet, keeping up with nasal hygiene, and considering long-term antihistamines can make a big difference.”

If this is the first time you're experiencing allergy symptoms, it's important to recognize the signs and understand what might be triggering your reactions. Remember, allergies can appear at any age, so being aware of the symptoms and triggers is key, said Kruger.

For those looking for relief, over-the-counter medications like long-term antihistamines, nasal sprays, and eye drops can be a game-changer.

Healthcare experts recommend seeking advice from pharmacists or nurses to find the right products for your needs.

As autumn rolls in, being prepared and informed can help you navigate the allergy season with ease.

Whether it's changing your diet, consulting healthcare professionals or finding the right medication, there are steps you can take to alleviate those bothersome symptoms.