80
      Friday
      98 / 76
      Saturday
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      Sunday
      92 / 71

      Sneezing and Wheezing? You're not alone

      If you have allergies you can tell what time of the year it is without looking at a calendar.

      People around the country are sniffling, sneezing and itching their eyes because of the usual offenders; ragweed, pollen and mold.

      Quincy Medical GroupQuincy Medical Group Allergist Gary Carpenter says this allergy season is pretty standard.

      He did say mold may be a little high this year because of all the rain we've had.

      You can expect those high levels of pollen and mold to be hanging around until the first hard freeze of the year, which could be some time.

      "Really the only thing that's really helpful for people with pollen or mold allergies is to stay in doors, leave the air conditioning on, keep your windows and doors shut," said Dr. Carpenter.

      If you are going to be outside, pollen levels are usually higher in the middle of the day.

      Unfortunately mold levels will be the same all the time.

      But here's a well kept secret, Doctor Carpenter says many people forget how useful a pollen mask will be.

      He recommends one any time you could be doing something that will kick up dust.

      Allergist Gary Carpenter says this allergy season is pretty standard.

      He did say mold may be a little high this year because of all the rain we've had.

      You can expect those high levels of pollen and mold to be hanging around until the first hard freeze of the year, which could be some time.

      "Really the only thing that's really helpful for people with pollen or mold allergies is to stay in doors, leave the air conditioning on, keep your windows and doors shut," said Dr. Carpenter.

      If you are going to be outside, pollen levels are usually higher in the middle of the day.

      Unfortunately mold levels will be the same all the time.

      But here's a well kept secret, Doctor Carpenter says many people forget how useful a pollen mask will be.

      He recommends one any time you could be doing something that will kick up dust.

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      The following is from the Copyright 2010 National University of Health Sciences

      When it comes to fall allergies, weeds and molds are the main triggers. Ragweed is the number one cause of fall hay fever symptoms in the United States, and flourishes here in the Midwest. Its pollen can travel as far as 400 miles, so you may be affected by ragweed even though it does not grow nearby. The good news is that ragweed season ends after the first frost.

      There are also certain trees and grasses that pollinate in the fall, including many elm trees. In addition, outdoor molds become plentiful in the fall in gutters, soil, vegetation, rotting wood, and fallen leaves.

      The histamine response is why many people reach for over-the-counter antihistamines which block this reaction. However, antihistamines produce their own undesirable side-effects such as drowsiness and lack of mental clarity.Certain antihistamines can also have negative interactions with certain high blood pressure medications, so allergy sufferers would be wise to alert their pharmacist or doctor if they are taking medication for high blood pressure.

      Some people use nasal sprays for allergies, which can irritate nasal linings.

      There are also simple strategies for reducing fall allergy symptoms. Changing your furnace filter and opening windows the first time you run your heater can help.

      Pollen and mold spores are stirred up when vacuuming, mowing, or raking leaves. If you are very sensitive, it is best to wear a face mask while doing these chores.Try to reduce outdoor activity on dry and windy days.

      To reduce mold spores that may enter the home, it is best to remove leaves, clippings, and compost from around your house. Also be sure to repot plants outdoors. Trees and brush that overhang your house should be cut back. After spending extended periods of time outdoors be sure to shower and change clothes to remove built-up pollen from skin, hair and clothing.

      You may notice your symptoms are worse at a certain time of day. Pollen counts are highest between 5 and 10 am, while mold spore counts peak in the afternoon.

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