Fall Allergies: How You Can Help Yourself

What You Can Do To Fight Fall Allergy Season

Are you sniffling, sneezing or wheezing? You might be experiencing fall allergies.

In the Piedmont Triad, pollen from weeds is a big culprit, with its peak season late August through September.

"Ragweed is a pollen that bothers quite a few people," explains Rob Russ, Senior Environmental Specialist with Forsyth County's Office of Environmental Assistance and Protection. "Not everybody, but a lot of people are bothered by ragweed."

Russ and his team check the pollen count every day and put out reports so folks can best monitor their pollen allergies.

When you start feeling sympotms, people might go for the honey, the apple cider vinegar or a boost of vitamin C.  The home remedies might give you some releif, but they're probably not the best fix in the long run.

"The honey issue, acupuncture, all these other treatment modalities they might be something that works locally, or you know, old wives tales or things like that but they haven't been scientifically studied," explains Dr. Ranjan Sharma, an allergist with LeBauer Allergy and Asthma in Greensboro.  "So, if it works for them that's great but it's not really what we recommend.  We recommend just what's been studied as far as medications that have been prescribed and how patients respond to them successfully."

Dr. Sharma explains many over-the-counter drugs, like eye drops or antihistamines, could be the best way to find relief.  He recommends taking medicines year rount, not just when your symptoms flare up.  If your symptoms are severe, you might want to consider an allergy shot. 

Dr. Sharma says a lot of insurance plans cover allergy treatments, but you should see an allergist to test exactly what you're allergic to. Keep in mind that could change over time; people can grow out of allergies, but they can also grow into them.  It all depends on the person, their exposure and their environment. 

"It's just the way we're put together," Dr. Sharma explains. "And if you have that allergic predisposition, which can run in families, therefore you know you may be at risk for allergies and they should be treated by a specialist."

There are some things you can do at home to help reduce allergy symptoms.  

"People that are sensitive should shower at night," explains Russ.  "Wash your hair before getting in bed otherwise you're just going to bring the pollen into bed with you."

You should also make sure your pets are clean and keep them out of the bedroom.  If you're sensitive, you might want to keep windows shut and stick with the air conditioning.  Be sure to check your system to make sure the ducts are clean.
 

 

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