Fall in Arkansas can be gorgeous, but it’s not always so beautiful for allergy patients. The 2018 season is shaping up to be particularly troublesome. Any seasonal change is a trigger for many allergy sufferers, and experts have forecast that this year’s transition from summer to fall will be full of pollen and mold.
What is Worrisome about Fall 2018?
Pollen is one of the largest environmental allergy irritants. An unseasonably warm summer, as we saw this year, can increase pollen counts throughout the remainder of the year. You can expect to be dealing with large amounts of pollen not only this fall but throughout the likely mild winter as well.
Ragweed is probably the most troublesome pollen-producer during the fall months. This widespread plant releases billions of pollen grains which lead to hay fever, known medically as allergic rhinitis. But ragweed isn’t the only problem you’ll encounter with seasonal allergies in Little Rock. As temperatures and leaves drop, mold becomes an issue.
Moist, rotting leaves are a haven for mold. Even when rain helps keep pollen counts down, mold spores can trigger environmental allergies and cause problems for allergy patients. Also, pollution can increase mold and pollen counts, and central Arkansas often suffers from poor air quality.
Finally, don’t forget about dust and dust mites. These are mainly indoor issues, but this time of year sees kids back at schools that have been closed up all summer. Dusty classrooms can contribute to allergy symptoms.
How Can You Avoid Environmental Allergy Triggers?
There are several ways you can mitigate or avoid environmental allergy triggers. Keeping an eye on pollen counts is easy with The Weather Channel’s allergy tracker. You may want to stay indoors if possible on days with high pollen counts. Additionally, keeping your car and home windows closed and running the air conditioning will help reduce indoor pollen.
High humidity can increase mold spore numbers. Of course, central Arkansas is notoriously humid. This means exacerbation of seasonal allergies in Little Rock and on up into Conway. Ideal indoor humidity is around 35%, so a dehumidifier could be a wise purchase.
Wearing an allergen-filtering mask can make a huge difference in allergy symptoms as well. Such a mask is a particularly good idea when performing yard work or indoor cleaning. Furthermore, don’t forget to change your indoor air filters! A fresh, high-quality filter can aid in controlling indoor irritants.
How Can You Combat Outdoor Allergy Symptoms?
If lifestyle changes aren’t enough to eliminate your seasonal allergy symptoms, see an allergist like one of the experts at Arkansas Allergy and Asthma Clinic (AAAC) for an allergy treatment plan. A helpful plan may consist of advice, over-the-counter medications, and/or prescription drugs. These treatments are often sufficient, but for some patients, allergy shots can produce a dramatic reduction in seasonal allergy problems.
AAAC provides allergy shots in Little Rock to appropriate patients. These shots are a form of immunotherapy that desensitizes your immune system to allergy triggers like pollen. Research has shown allergy shots to be effective for many patients, but this treatment will not produce instant results.
Rather, the effects of allergy immunotherapy take several months to appear. Still, if you commence allergy shot treatment now, you stand a good chance of having a more enjoyable fall next year. Request an appointment at Arkansas Allergy and Asthma Clinic to learn more and find out if allergy shots are right for you.