ATLANTA -- Sniffling and sneezing lately? Blame the rain! Plants love water, so all that rain means plants like ragweed will likely be much larger this year, and more widespread.
"I think it's going to be a problem for patients because what we're seeing is the counts are high, and I think you're going to see maybe a longer lasting season".
Even if we do get an occasional shower here in Atlanta, that may not completely clear the air out. Why? Ragweed pollen can travel far. In fact, it has been measured in the air 400 miles out to sea and two miles up in the atmosphere. So, you could be picking up pollen from another state.
Dr. Fineman also notes that it is important to know what is triggering your allergies, because some people come in thinking they have an allergy to ragweed, but in fact have an allergy to Cedar or Elm trees, some of the few trees that actually pollinate late in the year as opposed to the spring time. Knowing which one is the trigger can help with the treatment.
Even though temperatures are cooling down, try to resist the urge to open your windows, because that creates a perfect entry point for the pollen to come into your home.
Also, be careful what you eat. People with ragweed allergies may exacerbate some symptoms by eating cantaloupe or bananas because of an allergic cross-reaction.