Fall Allergy Season Expected to Get Worse

By: Shannon Kantner Email
By: Shannon Kantner Email

The crisp air might be refreshing, but it's also full of ragweed. That means allergy season has arrived for many people, and we haven't even seen the worst of it yet.

With the leaves changing and cool breezes, many people look forward to fall weather, but not everyone can enjoy it.

"It's still particularly frustrating when the weather outside this time of year is so gorgeous, but I know that being out in it can make me miserable," Julie Moore said.

Moore's allergies keep her inside this time of year and frequenting the Okemos Allergy Center. That's where Dr. Manoj Mohan offers some relief, but not very good news.

"I don't think we're at the peak just yet," Dr. Mohan said.

That means your allergies are going to get even worse in a few weeks. The recent heat delayed ragweed season, and now the allergy center and pharmacies are really starting to get busy.

"Lots of sneezing, itching, congestion, itchy runny eyes, watering eyes," Dr. Mohan said. "Lots of asthma, especially."

PGPA Pharmacy can barely keep eye drops on the shelves with so many people looking for relief.

"It gets really bad sometimes, because I try to let things run their course," Thanh Tan said. "My nose will start running, my eyes get really itchy."

If your allergies aren't out of control yet or you don't want to wait and see, doctors recommend taking some over-the-counter medication now as a preventitive measure to get on top of the symptoms. Something like Zyrtec or Allegra work well, but they also warn about using some products too often.

"Nasal decongestants, if we over-use them, it can actually make nasal congestion worse," Dr. Mohan said. "We call this rhinitis medicamentosa. The label says no more than 3 to 5 days continuous use, but if we use it more than that, it can cause more congestion. It's a rebound effect."

Elderly people should be especially careful. He recommends a regular anti-histamine and saline solution first. But if nothing works, visit your doctor, and try to stay positive

"It's a hard thing to manage, but you got keep chugging through," Moore said. "Just pack lots of tissues."

Doctors also recommend staying inside and turning on the air conditioning, as it can help clear out the pollen in your home.

This allergy season is expected to peak in October.


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