If you have allergies, brace yourself

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

This is a picture of ragweed. The pollen that comes from this plant is one of the most allergenic of all pollens.

If you’re someone who suffers from seasonal allergies, you know how bad they can be. Different allergens floating around in the air means itchy eyes, stuffy noses, and wheezing. Well, I’m sorry to say that the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) predicts that this coming allergy season is going to be one of the worst ever!

Why is this season so much different than the other ones? Well, according to the AAFA, part of the reason is because of the rising temperatures and increasing carbon monoxide levels. This combination causes ragweed – a type of plant that’s responsible for many allergies – to stay in season much longer than usual. “The East Coast has had a much more severe problem with ragweed this year than probably the last decade,” said Dr. Michael A. Kaliner, founder of the Institute for Asthma and Allergy. Well, all that pollen wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for different weather climates that spread it out. The number of hurricanes and tornadoes are expected to increase, and if they do, they’ll send a swirling vortex of pollen all across the lands!

I bet anyone with seasonal allergies is not looking forward to clouds of pollen billowing in the air. What kind of tips does the AAFA recommend to stay as allergy-free as possible? According to Mike Tringale, vice-president of external affairs at AAFA, the organization “encourages the approximately 40 million Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies to learn more and consult an allergy specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment of seasonal allergy symptoms.”

In addition to seeing a doctor, some simple things include covering mattresses and pillows with hypoallergenic covers to reduce exposure to dust, mites, and other allergens. If you like to play with stuffed animals, don’t hug so many of them close at once. And, if you feel a stuffy nose coming on, take the correct medicines.

Featured image courtesy of John Liu on Flickr. Image of ragweed courtesy of Sue Sweeney on Wikimedia.