Longer Allergy Season Means More Misery09/02/11
FRIDAY, Sept. 2 (HealthDay News) -- A trend toward a longer
allergy season may mean more sneezing, sniffling and misery for
allergy sufferers, experts say.
Allergy season used to run from mid-August through September,
but in many parts of the country, symptoms such as itchy eyes and
stuffiness are starting earlier and extending through October,
according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma &
The main culprit behind the seasonal misery: ragweed. One
ragweed plant can make up to 1 billion pollen grains, especially
bad news for those who suffer from hay fever or allergic
Research suggests this prolonged window for allergies is the
result of rising temperatures and higher carbon dioxide levels,
which help allergen-producing plants grow for a longer period of
time, according to an AAAI news release.
Getting a proper diagnosis and finding out exactly what patients
are allergic to is the first step in managing symptoms that can
include, in addition to the sneezing and stuffy nose, an itchy
throat or a worsening of asthma symptoms, experts advised.
The best way for allergy sufferers to feel better is to avoid
contact with pollen altogether. The group recommends avoiding the
outdoors when the National Allergy Bureau reports that pollen
counts are particularly high.
The National Institute of Environmental Health Services provides
more information on
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