Common Illnesses That Peak in the Fall

Besides colorful leaves, pumpkins, and cozy sweaters, the fall season brings about many common illnesses. A variety of factors make autumn the peak season for a range of infections. But, being informed on these common ailments and staying diligent about prevention can help keep you healthy this fall and winter! 

The most common illnesses that peak in the fall include:

Fall Allergies

While most people think of the spring season as the main allergy season, fall also brings about allergies for many individuals. Ragweed is one of the most prevalent allergy triggers in the fall. Additionally, turning on your heater for the first time in the fall can send allergens into your home’s air and circulate them, often leading to allergy symptoms. 

Common allergy symptoms include:

  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Postnasal drip

To prevent allergy symptoms in the fall, keep the windows of your home and car closed to stop pollen from entering. Showering promptly after spending time outdoors can also help the spread of outdoor allergens throughout your home, as does frequently washing bedding and wiping down surfaces. Additionally, make sure to clean or change the filter of your HVAC system before turning on the heat for the first time this fall. 

The Flu

The flu season can range depending on the year, but it generally occurs in the fall. In severe cases, the flu can escalate into pneumonia or bronchitis.

Symptoms of the flu may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Body aches
  • Congestion
  • Fever/chills 
  • Headache 
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Chest tightness
  • Nausea and vomiting

To stop the spread of the flu, you can:

  • Get a flu shot 
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Cover your nose and mouth while coughing or sneezing

The Common Cold

The common cold also tends to peak in the fall. This viral infection affects the nose and throat, leading to symptoms including:

  • Sore throat
  • Nasal congestion
  • Cough
  • Mild headache
  • Mild body aches
  • Sneezing
  • Low-grade fever

Colds are usually mild and resolve within a week. Most people don’t need medical treatment for a common cold, though at-home methods including rest and over-the-counter pain medications can help manage symptoms. 

Family Medical Centers is here to keep you healthy throughout the fall and winter seasons. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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