Are you sneezing and sniffling more? You aren't alone

Updated: 08/28/2014 6:14 PM
Created: 08/28/2014 5:20 PM WHEC.com
By: Josh Nichols

Have you noticed yourself sneezing more than you did a couple of weeks ago? A second round of seasonal allergies is making its way around our area and the fall-like weather we've been seeing isn't helping.

Beautiful fall weather means fresh sunny days, the likes of which we are seeing today, but when it's dry and breezy like today, allergens can be easily spread across the land by the wind.

Right around this time of year, ragweed becomes a big problem. In fact, most cases of hay fever are caused by allergies to ragweed, which usually peaks in late August and is made worse after a stretch of dry sunny days.

And hay fever is more common than you might think. With more than a dozen species of ragweed species across the nation, it's no wonder that some 10 to 20-percent of all Americans suffer from some kind of ragweed allergy. And for the Rochester area, this season -- although off to a late start, has so far been a bad one.

Theresa Bingenann is an allergist and immunologist at Rochester General. She said, “Over the last week it looks like ragweed in particular has truly peaked and so patients have been coming in and saying over the last week I really have needed to start take my medicines again."

Much like the new treatments for tree and grass pollen sufferers, there are new treatments out just this year and more just approved coming in the future which means hay fever sufferers can start planning ahead for the next ragweed season. “Another thing for the future which wouldn't necessarily be helpful for this allergy season is one of the oral immunotherapy products for ragweed was approved this year. And so typically you would start it before the season but for someone who really suffers due to ragweed at this time could consider that for next year."

The combination of the delayed start to the ragweed season plus the likelihood of more dry sunny days in the month of September will mean a longer season for allergy sufferers...more sneezing and more wheezing.

Allergy sufferers won't like to hear this news. Ragweed season will last until we see our first frost.

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