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Fall Weather Week: Dealing with fall allergies

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) — Fall temperatures have arrived in the Carolinas and many of us are happy to see cooler temperatures after a hot summer.

But a change in the weather triggers the beginning of another season: allergy season. This year’s allergy season could be particularly difficult because it coincides with COVID-19 infections and the beginning of flu season. The CDC says that nearly 25 million Americans suffer from fall allergies and doctors advise you to get tested for allergies if you have persistent allergic reactions, especially if your allergies don’t respond to routine over the counter medications. It’s not know if seasonal allergies make you more likely to contract COVID-19, but the allergies make you more likely to touch your eyes and nose and that is known to be a way germs spread.

Dr. Fritz Butehorn, with Spartanburg-Greer Ear Nose and Throat, says fall weather can trigger allergies that for some are just as bad as, if not worse, than spring allergies. And our wet, hot summer could be to blame.

“Obviously with all the rain we’ve been having lately it really helps the plants grow and we’re seeing a big uptick this particular year. In fact, this week we’ve had a big uptick,” Dr. Butehorn says.

Ragweed is the biggest allergy trigger in the fall and weather plays a major role in the severity and duration of allergy season. Ragweed plants grow more in wet, humid summers. This year we have a rain surplus of over 20 inches with temperatures above normal for June, July, and August.

That combination of hot temperatures and high humidity are fuel for these pollen makers. And if you suffer from itchy, watery eyes, a sore throat, and sneezing then you need to have it checked out. That is especially important as we enter flu season while we are still dealing with COVID infections.

Fall allergies will usually ease in mid-October when we usually see our first frost of the season. A few hard frosts kill the weeds and triggers the end of fall allergy season. So, if you suffer from fall allergies you can thank the weather. It is the cause for and the relief from your suffering.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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