By Dr. Maria Simbra

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — This season’s high weed pollen count is making some allergy sufferers miserable.

“It’s everywhere, just fields and fields of ragweed,” says allergist Dr. Thomas Mertz. “When it hits, it hits pretty significantly.”

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The weed pollen count is high, which has people who are allergic calling their allergist.

“This time of the year it’s been high call volume,” he says, “The itchy, watery eyes, the runny nose, the sneezing.”

In late August and early September, you can put the blame on one weed in particular:

“The main one around here is goldenrod, or ragweed,” says Dr. Mertz.

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Because it’s so hard to avoid, you can wear a mask if you’re working outdoors, use saline nasal spray and rewetting drops for your eyes to flush out the pollen, and shower after coming inside to wash off the pollen.

If you already have allergy symptoms, over-the-counter antihistamines and corticosteroid nasal sprays can help.

The weed pollen counts are forecasted to be very high on Saturday, so stay indoors with the air conditioning on, and hang in there.

The counts will go down with the first hard frost, usually at the end of September.

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Dr. Maria Simbra