Thu. Jan 27th, 2022

It’s finally that wonderful time of year. You know, that time of year when the weather gets warmer, the sky clears up, the days get longer, your eyes start watering, your eyes turn red, your tissue usage drastically increases and you can’t help but sneeze every five minutes. In other words, allergy season is upon us and the time of great suffering has begun. In the United States, allergy season starts during the spring. Many plants begin their pollination process during this period due to the change in temperature and increase of rain. However, pollen itself does not cause a large percentage of seasonal allergies. Rather, ragweed is the main catalyst for most cases of seasonal allergies

Ragweed is a plant that grows in the wild. It’s most commonly found in the East Coast and Mid-Western regions of the United States. From August to November, ragweed blooms and releases large amounts of pollen until mid-September. Several other plants along with ragweed contribute to fall allergies. These plants are burning bush, mug wort, tumbleweed, cocklebur, pigweed and sagebrush. Climate also plays a factor in seasonal allergies. Heat, humidity and rain contribute to seasonal allergies.

There is no need for despair as there are various ways to combat seasonal allergies.

The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology recommends the following actions:

Monitor pollen and mold counts. Weather reports in newspapers and on radio and television often include this information during allergy seasons.

Keep windows and doors shut at home and in your car during allergy season.

To avoid pollen, know which pollens you are sensitive to and then check pollen counts. In spring and summer, during tree and grass pollen season, levels are highest in the evening. In late summer and early fall, during ragweed pollen season, levels are highest in the morning.

Take a shower, wash your hair and change your clothes after you’ve been working or playing outdoors.

Wear a NIOSH-rated 95 filter mask when mowing the lawn or doing other chores outdoors, and take appropriate medication beforehand.

If allergy symptoms develop despite taking preventative measures, you might want to try some home remedies. There are many options to combat seasonal allergies.

The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians recommends the following actions:

  • Eat a moderately low-fat, high-complex-carbohydrate diet
  • Drink half of your body weight in ounces of water daily
  • Take supplements, vitamins and   minerals
  • Herbal medicine
  • Homeopathy
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Acupuncture

Sometimes home remedies are not effective. If allergy symptoms persist after attempting home treatment, it might be best to visit your doctor. Your doctor will most likely recommend that you take an allergy medicine. Many pharmacies sell over the counter brands that may decrease symptoms.

As we approach allergy season one must be prepared. With a proper plan in place, one should be able to survive allergy season without any issues. If you’re able to take the proper measures that are necessary for handling seasonal allergies, you’ll be able to enjoy this time of year.

Pamela Carter is a student at West Chester University. ✉

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