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Tough Season Ahead For Ragweed Allergy Sufferers

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(Photo Credit: AP)

(Photo Credit: AP)

(Source: KDKA-TV) Dr. Maria Simbra
Dr. Maria Simbra is an Emmy award-winning medical journalist, who...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Summer usually gives people a short break from pollen allergies.

“We have been getting less calls in the summertime. Asthma and allergy activity levels usual reach their lowest peak in the mid-summer, but it’s a relatively short break,” says Dr. David Skoner, an allergist at Allegheny General Hospital.

Then, August is a terrible time for people allergic to ragweed.

“In mid-August, the ragweed season usually starts up and it has already. I compared our counts in the air today versus those one year ago and they’re about double,” says Dr. Skoner.

This year is expected to be bad due to warm and dry weather predicted for our region — ideal conditions for airborne ragweed pollen. Removing it from your surroundings doesn’t really help.

“The pollen, when they’re generated from a tree or a ragweed plant, can travel for many, many miles in the air, so what people are exposed to and reacting to could have come from 50 or 100 miles away,” explains Dr. Skoner.

To avoid it, you can stay indoors and run the air conditioning. Luckily, the ragweed will eventually go away.

“The season begins around August the 15th and it peaks around Labor Day and usually by the first frost in mid-October, it’s pretty much gone from the air,” he says.

For now, for people who are allergic — your best hope is for rain which washes the pollen out of the air.

The down side — excessive rain can lead to mold and mold allergies. Those peak in October.

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