It's about that time. Is your hay fever starting to get the best of you? Fall allergy season has begun in the Bluegrass. The main culprits are ragweed and mold; later on dust will become an irritant. The fall allergy season gets kick started in mid-August when ragweed begins to pollinate, and will generally continue until the first hard freeze. This can lead to hay fever, or allergic rhinitis. Symptoms may include a runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, or watering eyes. According to WebMD, 75% of those allergic to spring plants are also triggered by ragweed. Mold spores increase in damp conditions. Dust may become a problem for you once your furnace clicks on for the first time this season.
The weather can factor into the severity of an allergy season. While we all love the lingering warmth in the fall, warmer days can extend the allergy season. Grass, ragweed, and other weeds continue to pollinate. Higher humidity will lead to an increase in the mold count. Dry and windy days can whip up allergens and elevate levels.
There are other conditions that can add to your symptoms. Piles of damp leaves will agitate pollen and mold. Your children could be affected by chalk dust or their classroom pet.
Ragweed and grass remain the top pollinators. Pollen levels will stay on the high side this week given the hot and humid forecast. Pass the tissues, please.