Sunday, July 21, 2024
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Fall Allergy Season Cranking Up With Ragweed Peaking In Next Few Weeks

A wet start to the summer will likely bring the Upper Cumberland beautiful fall colors and a slew of fall allergens.

Local Allergist Dr. Erin Rohman said as the grass pollen season ends, the ragweed season is ratcheting up. Ragweed and goldenrod are the biggest pollen producers around the region, with the peak coming in the next few weeks.

Rohman said it can often be a challenge to understand whether you are dealing with allergies, a cold, or even COVID.

“I think that’s one tricky thing about fall compared to spring is we are dealing with a lot more upper respiratory infections this time of year,” Rohman said. “And with that you get the sore throat that then leads to the sneezing and the stuffy nose that then leads to the cough. And if we’re being really honest, those are very similar symptoms to allergies. So it’s not something that you can often figure out on your own. And my best advice is if the symptoms persist longer than a few days, you probably need to see some sort of healthcare provider.”

Rohman said fever can also be a sign, as significant fevers are unlikely with allergies.

Now is the time to begin your medical regiment if you are a fall allergy sufferer, according to Rohman. She said over the counter antihistamines, and over the counter nose sprays can be helpful if taken correctly. If you are concerned about how those medications might interact with other medical issues, Rohman suggested seeing your doctor.

“It’s time to get in to see your healthcare provider and help them sort that out for you,” Rohman said. “So number one, if you typically take allergy medicine in the fall, it’s time to get going on that. And number two, I would say if this is a predictable thing for you that happens year after year, maybe you want to get in to see an allergist. Maybe you want to have allergy skin testing, figure out what’s actually contributing to your problem, and then go beyond those medications. And maybe consider a treatment such as allergen immunotherapy, which a lot of us know as allergy shots, to keep this from being an ongoing problem for you.”

Once the leaves fall, Rohman said mold counts increase, causing problems for fall allergy sufferers.

“Those don’t get as much publicity as the pollen counts, but they’re equally as important for our allergy sufferers,” Rohman said.

People typically think of spring as the season for allergies. Rohman said across the Upper Cumberland, as many people struggle during the fall as the spring.

“The fall season can be even worse than spring because it tends to be a longer season with that pollen in the first part and then mold coming in in the second part of the season,” Rohman said.

Dr. Rohman sees patients at the Allergy Asthma & Sinus Center.

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