As an allergy sufferer, you know that symptoms don’t just appear in spring or summer. Fall, too, can bring about sneezing and trouble with breathing, as can volatile weather patterns.
“People frequently experience allergy symptoms in the fall even if they are mainly allergic to pollens in the spring and summer,” says Dr. David Corry. He is a professor of medicine in the section of immunology, allergy and rheumatology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
Among the natural events that could affect allergy sufferers this year are the Tonga Volcano eruption in January, Corry says. That sent particulates and aerosols into the environment and could change global weather, shortening or lengthening upcoming pollen seasons.
Those seasons could further change in the northern hemisphere, which was both hotter and drier this year, Corry adds.
“We’re currently in peak ragweed season and we’re also seeing a lot of mold spores in the air,” Corry said in a college news release. “But these unusually high temperatures earlier this year could mean potentially less cedar pollen this winter.”
Hurricane season is underway and these wet events, along with tropical storms, can produce immense rain and destroy vegetation. This can lead to fungal “blooms” and increase fungal spores in the air, which substantially worsen allergy and asthma symptoms for weeks or even months.
Cold fronts that bring thunderstorms and wind can stir up ragweed and pollens from earlier seasons. These can travel long distances.
You can protect yourself from ragweed by doing the following:
- Keeping your windows closed.
- Wearing a mask outdoors.
- Wearing an air pollution mask when allergy triggers are unavoidable.
- Using a high-performance air filtration system.
- Considering using a nasal irrigation system.
“Thunderstorm asthma” is a phenomenon that can affect those who have asthma.
“If you are mold-allergic or you have mold-related asthma, those can get dramatically