by A. Grano on November 1st, 2011 at 7:00 am
While most people are happily enjoying the cooler air that accompanied the start of fall, allergy sufferers are likely already sick of the symptoms that the seasonal changes also brought about. Ragweed is the most common culprit for fall allergies, afflicting 10-20% of the population.
Due to a rainy summer, ragweed levels are elevated this year and compounded by mold, a year-round allergen. This unfavorable combination is said to aggravate asthma, as well as stir up allergies in people who had previously not been afflicted.
To further complicate matters, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed research that allergy season is predicted to last a few weeks longer than usual in 2011, and according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, global warming has been lengthening and intensifying the severity of allergy seasons overall.
The most common symptoms and signs associated with allergies include:
- Runny nose
- Watery, tearing eyes
- Itchy eyes, ears, lips, throat and palate
- Sinus pain
- Shortness of breath
For those who can’t wait until the first frost (said to end fall allergy season) for symptom relief, there is help.
- Remove outdoor clothing upon entering your house, leaving shoes and coats near the door
- Wear sunglasses to prevent pollen from blowing into your eyes
- Clean up fallen leaves promptly, as wet piles are prime breeding grounds for leaf mold
- Change your air conditioner and furnace filters to avoid recirculating pollen
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet to boost your immune system
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