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Common Fall Allergies and How to Soothe Them

We often associate seasonal allergies with one season: spring. And there’s some reason for that: it’s during the early to middle part of the year when many plants that trigger allergies begin to grow and even bloom, releasing particles into the air that cause huge problems for tens of millions of North Americans. For example, it’s in the spring that trees pollinate, releasing a huge amount of pollen — one of the worst triggers for those with allergies — into the air.

But the fall season presents its own serious challenges. Most problematic may be the fact that many weeds pollinate in the late summer and fall, sending particles into the air and into our homes and offices. And that’s just one challenge we face during this season, with others becoming more visible as we head back inside to escape the progressively cooler weather. Now, let’s take a look at some fall allergy concerns and how you can help avoid or manage them.

1. Ragweed

Ragweed and its pollen can present problems throughout the year, but they’re particularly irritating during the fall months, when ragweed releases pollen at an alarming rate. Consider that, in a single fall season, just one ragweed plant is capable of releasing a billion grains of pollen. Consider also that the pollen released by a ragweed plant can travel for hundreds of miles by catching a strong gust of wind. This causes immense problems for North Americans with allergies and especially those living in areas where ragweed is most visible: the deep South, North, and Midwest.

To help limit the impact of ragweed on your system, try learning where the plants are most prevalent in your community and avoid that area. If you live in a place where ragweed is especially pronounced, and if you have an intense allergy to it, consider wearing a mask when you go outside. Other tips: keep your windows closed, especially on windy days; and limit how much you go outside. And look forward to the first frost of the year: it usually causes the ragweed plant to stop pollinating.

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