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Allergy Blog

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How to Manage Fall Allergies in Ohio

As fall approaches and kids head back to school, we appreciate the cooler temperatures, break out the pumpkin spice - and start sneezing again. In Ohio, ragweed and mold rule the roost every autumn. Let’s talk about prevention, treatment, and how to survive fall allergies in Ohio. 

Where is the worst place to live for allergies? 

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America recently ranked the 100 most-populated metropolitan areas based on allergies. Using U.S. Census Bureau data from 2019, along with pollen scores, over-the-counter allergy medicine sales and estimates of allergy-specific health care access, the AAFA determines where it’s hardest to live for those suffering from allergies.

And what did they find? While Ohio doesn’t stand out as the most problematic cities, it’s certainly not easy to avoid. For example, Dayton is the worst part of Ohio to call home if you struggle with allergies. The city ranked No. 13 in the nation with an overall allergy score of 76.54.

  • Toledo (No. 36 overall)
  • Columbus (No. 39 overall)
  • Akron (No. 47 overall)
  • Cleveland (No. 52 overall)
  • Cincinnati (No. 70 overall)

Common fall allergies 

In the late summer and early fall, weed pollen – especially ragweed pollen – can trigger symptoms just as kids are returning to school. One ragweed plant can produce billions of light, dry pollen grains that can travel hundreds of miles, according to the the AAFA report.

Meanwhile, mold can be found anywhere there are large amounts of fallen leaves and moist ground. For those who love outdoor autumn activities and suffer from allergies, unfortunately our favorites like corn fields, hay mazes and pumpkin patches are especially concentrated sources of mold spores.

What are fall allergy symptoms?

Allergic rhinitis - also known as hay fever or environmental allergies- causes symptoms that can be seen seasonally or year-round. Typical symptoms include runny nose; sneezing; nasal itching; stuffy nose; itchy eyes or skin; and fatigue. 

Allergy symptoms can vary based on the type of allergy you have. Common symptoms include sneezing; runny nose; nasal itching; stuffy nose; itchy/watery eyes; dark circles under the eyes; postnasal drainage; nausea; fatigue; and wheezing.

Through allergy testing, your Modern Allergy team will pinpoint the cause of your symptoms and help you find relief. Skin tests or blood tests are the most common methods for determining your environmental allergies. Click here to make an appointment with Dr. Bennett.

The most common treatment options for environmental allergies include:

  • Avoidance of known allergens 
  • Allergy medications: eye drops, nasal sprays, allergy pills
  • Allergen immunotherapy: Allergy shots can help your immune system build resistance  to environmental allergens.  Allergy shots are a highly effective treatment approach providing long-term relief for many allergy sufferers. Oral tablets that dissolve under the tongue are available in some instances for the treatment of grass, ragweed, and dust mite allergies. 

Tricks to help with allergies at home

  • Check pollen counts or forecasts daily and avoid outdoor activities on days when pollen counts are expected to be high
  • Keep windows closed during pollen season or peak pollen times
  • Use central air conditioning or air cleaners with a CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly® filter and/or HEPA filtration to reduce indoor airborne allergens (including pollen that may enter your home through doors, windows, on your clothes, and on pets).
  • Take a shower and wash your hair before going to bed
  • Dry laundry in a clothes dryer or on an indoor rack, not on an outdoor line.
  • Wash bedding in hot, soapy water once a week.

When cleaning inside your home, be aware that you may stir up pollen that has collected on surfaces! Ensure that you are using CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly® vacuums and dusting cloths that can help trap and contain allergens like pollen.

Schedule an allergy appointment

We offer convenient same-day appointments, easy online scheduling, and virtual visits. We’re committed to being helpful, and in doing so, set a new standard of care for your allergy needs. So, visit our website to schedule an appointment or give us a call. We’re looking forward to meeting you and your family!

November 7, 2022

Dr. Greg Bennett headshot

Dr. Greg Bennett is board certified in both Pediatrics and Allergy/Immunology and has over 10 years of experience in the field of medicine. ‍

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