Allergy season isn't over

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Ragweed is one of the most common of fall allergies, which has similar symptoms to spring allergies.

By Patricia Nugent

While the fall leaves you are viewing this month are bursting with color, they are also responsible for fall allergies such as ragweed pollen and mold.

“Dry leaves, grass and hay can harbor allergens,” says Dr. Barry Lampl, founder of Allergy Diagnostics. “Ragweed is one of the most common of fall allergies, which has similar symptoms to spring allergies.”

Mold allergies are more prevalent in the fall/winter, he reports, and can manifest as both indoor and outdoor molds. 

“Outdoor mold can be found on rotting logs, fallen leaves and compost piles,” he explains. “Indoors, mold fungi can grow in damp areas. When mold is disturbed, the spores become airborne, you inhale them, and that’s how allergies begin.”

Another downside to mold allergies is they can trigger asthma. To avoid pollen and mold allergies, Dr. Lampl suggests:

  • Avoid working outdoors when the pollen or mold counts are high
  • Wear a dust mask if you have to work outdoors
  • Make sure your heating and cooling system has a HEPA filter
  • Lower your home’s humidity to below 45 percent
  • Remove any sources of dampness in your home

If you are still suffering symptoms, he recommends seeking treatment, as ignoring the cause of your symptoms may cause them to worsen over the years.

Painless and quick, an allergy assessment, or prick test, involves placing tiny pinpricks to the forearm. When the allergy is detected, the diagnosis and treatment are clear. 

In patients where medications fail, allergists may consider immunotherapy, administering trace amounts of the substance the patient is allergic to through tiny, pain-free injections, once a week, until they reach a point where they only require maintenance shots.

Allergy Diagnostics has locations in Fairlawn, Mentor, Strongsville, Beachwood, Westlake and Parma. They welcome patients ages six and up. Call 330-836-9232 to make an appointment, or visit AllergyDiagnostics.com to find out more.

Categories: Health & Wellness