Updated 09/13/2012 07:24 PM
Dealing with fall allergies
People across the region may find themselves reaching for tissues or medication as the fall allergy season gets underway. Our Melissa Kakareka tells us what to expect throughout the fall, as well as what you can do to get some relief.
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BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- Sneezing. Itching. Coughing. They are all symptoms you might be experiencing if you suffer from allergies and 2012 is proving to be one of the longest allergy seasons ever.
"We definitely have had a very long pollen season because the tree pollen bloomed three to four weeks earlier in spring, so it’s been a long year for pollen exposure," said allergist Mohan Dhillon.
As the seasons transition, so do the culprits of the symptoms. For those who suffer from fall allergies, ragweed is the main cause from mid-August until the first frost.
Local allergists say the ragweed counts remain fairly high but are not necessarily out of the ordinary for our region in comparison to previous years. They do expect this fall will be a bad season for mold because of the wet weather in the late summer and early fall.
"Recent rainfalls have certainly added to mold. Mold is fairly high right now. Normally mold doesn't get this high until later in year, so it’s early start to mold season," said Dhillon.
"When everything green dies off mold starts growing on it, so mold season is yet to start, we haven't even seen them peak yet," said allergist Asha Gupta.
For those who are suffering, allergists say over the counter anti-histamines and prescription medications can help. Or a specialist might be able to help those with more severe allergic reactions.
"But if they are not responding to those measures one of the things that allergists can do is actually do allergy immunotherapy, commonly known as allergy shots, which we can actually change the way the body responds to these allergens," said Gupta.
Tips that can provide at least a little bit of relief as the allergy season wears on.