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Monday, April 22, 2024

Fall allergies worse than spring and summer

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Attention allergy sufferers: if you’re sneezing, sniffling and rubbing your eyes more than you did during the summer, don’t worry it’s normal.

While it would seem that spring is the time allergy and sinus problems flare, experts say fall can be just as bad.

With November right around the corner, many people will likely still be searching for relief at least until the first frost occurs or longer says Dr. William Baker, allergy section chief at IU School of Medicine and an allergist at Wishard Health Services.

“From a symptom standpoint, late summer and fall tend to be the worst for allergy sufferers,” he said. “This time of year tends to be really bad for people who have ragweed and mold allergies.”

A reason why fall affects those with allergies more than other seasons is because of leaves and ragweed. Working in the yard and raking leaves and planting flowers can often cause allergy symptoms to intensify while damp leaves hold molds, and ragweed, which result in sinus headaches, itchy eyes, nasal congestion and asthma.

What can allergy sufferers do to ease the symptoms?

“For many people avoidance measures can greatly reduce the symptoms of allergies,” explains Baker. “Keeping windows closed and using air conditioning, avoiding outdoors for an extensive time during the morning hours when allergies tend to be worse and never drying your clothes outside on a clothes line are some steps people can take.”

However, if you must spend longer periods outdoors, Baker suggests bathing before going to bed to limit the potential spread of allergens.

Baker also suggests those with allergies follow these three steps: over the counter medication, visit a physician or use medication prescribed by a physician, either a nasal spray or oral prescription.

“For severe cases an allergy shot may be necessary,” said Baker.

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