facebook Use Preventive Measures to Combat the Irritating Effects of Fall Allergies

For many allergy sufferers, bothersome symptoms have already appeared

Indianapolis, Sept. 4, 2019 – For millions of Americans who suffer from the exasperating and unpleasant symptoms of allergies, the fall season is their worst time of the year.

According to the American College of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology (ACAAI), more than 50 million Americans suffer annually from allergies. Ragweed pollen is floating through the air right now and it’s the biggest catalyst for the dreaded fall allergies. Ragweed is found in abundance throughout the Midwest, where a single plant can produce one billion pollen grains per season.

The annoying effects of seasonal allergies include watery, itchy eyes, sneezing, coughing and a runny nose.

“Unfortunately for so many people who suffer from fall allergies, their lives are already being disrupted by the troubling symptoms they’ve become so accustomed to this time of year,” said Dr. Seth Rinderknecht, chief physician executive, Eskenazi Health Center Westside.

In addition to cooler weather and changing foliage, weeds and other plants release pollen in the air this time of year and outdoor molds grow under fallen leaves, both of which can be the catalyst for fall allergies.

Beginning with warm days and cool nights in August, pollen is released into the air, with this process ordinarily continuing through September and October. Those who face allergy difficulties in the late summer and fall are said to be fighting hay fever, which is a general term to describe the unpleasant symptoms many experience. According to the ACAAI, it’s estimated that 75 percent of people who are allergic to spring plants are also allergic to ragweed.

There are a number of medications you can use for relief of fall allergy symptoms, including steroid nasal sprays that can reduce inflammation in your nose, and decongestants that help relieve stuffiness and dry up mucus.

Nasal ipratropium is a prescription nasal spray that can help if you have a runny nose due to allergies. Some products include more than one kind of drug. Allegra-D, Claritin-D, and Zyrtec-D have both an antihistamine and the decongestant pseudoephedrine.

“When fall allergy symptoms become apparent, we recommend trying over-the-counter medications,” Dr. Rinderknecht said. “If there is no improvement after a few days, we recommend paying a visit to a primary care physician.”

The ACAAI stated in April 2018 that immunotherapy (allergy shots) can reduce sensitivity to the allergens that trigger asthma attacks and significantly reduce the severity of the occurrences. It might even prevent the development of asthma in some children with seasonal allergies.

Although cures for most allergies are not available, allergy sufferers can lessen the severity of symptoms they’re faced with annually by following a few helpful tips:

•             Keep windows closed and turn on the air conditioner.

•             Shower often to remove pollen from your skin and hair.

•             Eradicate decaying leaves from your yard and gutters.

•             Wear a face mask while raking leaves.

•             Dry your clothes inside in the dryer instead of hanging them outside.

•             When first starting your car air conditioner, leave your windows open for several minutes allowing mold spores to disperse to the open air.

Dr. Rinderkinecht added that if improvement is lacking after seeing a primary care doctor, a visit to an allergy clinic for skin testing to determine the allergens causing the reaction is advised.

Eskenazi Health provides allergy check-up services at several locations. For more information on these services or to find a primary care physician, please call 317.880.7666.

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CONTACT: Tom Surber
Phone: 317.880.4793
Cell: 317.402.9327
Pager: 317.310.5972
Email: thomas.surber@eskenazihealth.edu

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