You heard all about the worst allergy season ever. You know the pollen tsunami swept through and left everyone sneezing and wheezing in its wake. But you want to know why the end of summer is almost here and you’re still miserable. As summer winds down, it’s a good time to start fighting your fall allergies before they hit. As CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez explained, ragweed is the culprit. The frilly green plants growing by the side of the road with the golden array of flowers on top are about to explode and release trillions of misery producing pollen grains into the air.
“It’s sneezing, runny nose, soar throat, itchiness everywhere. There have actually been times where I have been bed bound if I didn’t have medication,” Dani Dumitriu said. The American College of Allergy Asthma and Immunology said if you suffer from ragweed allergies like Dani, now is the critical time to start considering relief even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms yet.
“People wait too long and they wait until they are very symptomatic, and they start taking medicines, but you are kind of behind the eight ball,” Dr. Beth Corn, Mount Sinai Hospital said. Ragweed season typically starts in August and lasts into September or October. Experts said most people who are allergic to spring plants often react to ragweed. “It turns out with global warming and just climate changes, the allergy season is now longer,” Dr. Corn said. “I actually think they have controlled my symptoms. There is just no point in suffering,” She said.
“Although spring, summer and fall have different sets of allergens to trip up allergy and asthma sufferers, they can cause the same symptoms,” says allergist Janna Tuck, M.D., Fellow of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). “Those who have multiple triggers, may not be able to distinguish between what’s causing their symptoms. They just know they’re congested, with red eyes and an itchy nose.”
Ragweed is the biggest allergy trigger in the fall. It usually starts releasing pollen with cool nights and warm days in August, and can last into September and October. And the majority of people who are allergic to spring plants are also allergic to ragweed. “The most important reminder is to start taking fall allergy [relief] two weeks or so before symptoms usually begin,” says Dr. Tuck. “Both nasal and eye symptoms associated with ragweed allergies can linger after pollen is no longer in the air.”
What else can you do about fall allergy symptoms? The first line of defense is to avoid triggers. After spending time outdoors, shower, change and wash your clothes. Keep windows closed can help reduce exposure, and changing your clothes and rinsing off when you come inside can help get rid of pollen. If you do go outside, wear a hat and sunglasses to keep pollen out of your eyes.
For more information and to find relief, visit AllergyandAsthmaRelief.org.