The bees have been working hard all summer and the hives are brimming with honey. It is autumn and time to harvest. This time of year also brings a season in which many people have allergies. It is not just in the spring when pollen becomes the enemy to many. Since mid-August, airborne pollen from a variety of weeds makes its way into the air we breathe. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), ragweed pollen is most responsible for the spike of allergy symptoms in the fall. A recent study found that more than half of Americans have allergies and, of those, 20% suffer from pollen allergy, commonly know as hayfever. Most people who are allergic to pollen are usually sensitive to several different types.
The pollen grains produced in the fall, such as by ragweed are nearly invisible to the naked eye. You might not see the dense visible pollen cover you notice in the Spring but, your body will know it’s there. In hayfever sufferers, the body reacts to the pollen as if they were foreign invaders. Effects include puffy eyes, a runny nose and other allergy symptoms. In addition to ragweed and goldenrod, other
One of the main culprits for all allergies is is the ragweed plant. A single plant can produce one billion pollen grains per season. Ragweed grows abundantly throughout the South, North, and Midwest, and its lightweight pollen grains can travel up to 400 miles in the wind. In Southern regions, ragweed may pollinate through the winter .
Also goldenrod, curly dock, lamb’s quarters, pigweed, sheep sorrel, and sagebrush and ragweed can all cause fall allergies. Goldenrod is pollinated by insects and not the wind, so it is not a significant allergen for most individuals The lovely goldenrod flower does bloom at the same time and alerts you that the more inconspicuous ragweed is also blooming.
Outdoor molds are another cause of fall allergies. They first appear in early spring, but thrive until winter.. Mold spores are common airborne allergens. They are light, very small, and easily inhaled into the lungs.
HERE ARE SOME STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO HELP
- Use a face mask when you are outside, especially between in the morning 5 and 10 a.m. and on windy days.
- Remove pollen by showering frequently.
- Keep your windows closed and turn on the air conditioner.
- Dry your clothes inside in the dryer instead of hanging clothes outside.
- Have decaying leaves removed from your yard.
- When you first turn on your car air conditioner, leave your windows open and avoid breathing the air for several minutes until mold spores can disperse.
If your symptoms of sneezing, runny nose, or itchy and watery eyes get worse in the fall, you probably have an outdoor fall allergy. Eighty percent of people with seasonal allergies complain about these symptoms as well as problems with sleeping,, being tired, and even having poor concentration
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