Tips to help seasonal allergy sufferers reduce or eliminate annoying symptoms during the coming months
Follow this 7-part series to learn to better cope with Fall Allergies & Allergic Rhinitis.
Fall allergy season is almost here. For those with allergic rhinitis (hay fever) life can become miserable pretty quickly. With the arrival of all that beautiful fall color and cooler temperatures comes an increase in the 17 varieties of ragweed; three out of four people who are allergic to pollen are also allergic to ragweed.
Ragweed is a hardy annual and thrives in locations where turf grasses and other perennials haven’t taken root: particularly along riverbanks, in vacant lots, and on the side of the road.
One ragweed plant can produce an incredible one billion grains of pollen. And unfortunately, it doesn’t drop harmlessly to the ground; it tends to remain aloft in the breeze. Pollen has been found hundreds of miles out to sea and 10,000 feet up in the atmosphere.
Hay fever, like all allergies, is caused by a “glitch” in the body’s immune system. When normally harmful foreign substances like bacteria and viruses enter, the body tries to attack and neutralize them.
Unfortunately, the immune system in those with allergies reacts the same way to normally harmless substances like tiny weed pollen grains. The most intense period for this excess ragweed pollen activity is August through October, until the first frost. In the Atlanta area, the season may extend a bit longer because of our mild temperatures.
With all the pollen in the air in the autumn, what can hay fever sufferers do to reduce their misery?
The mainstream thinking is that allergy sufferers should avoid going outdoors during morning hours because pollen counts tend to be higher then. But not all doctors agree with that theory: one doctor reviewed a half-century of medical literature and concluded there is no proof that hay fever sufferers can minimize their symptoms by staying indoors during certain times of the day.
There are other effective ways to curb symptoms of hay fever that include avoidance strategies and medical treatment.