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Published on September 26, 2013

Fall Allergy Season Could Be the Worst Ever, Thanks to Climate Change

Mercy Physician Explains How to Minimize Allergic Symptoms

Max GhaderiDarby, PA (September 26, 2013) - The 2013 fall allergy season started sooner and will last longer, which is bad news for the more than 40 million Americans suffering from seasonal allergies, says Max Ghaderi, DO, an ear, nose and throat physician and sinus specialist at Mercy Fitzgerald and Mercy Philadelphia Hospitals.

Heavy precipitation levels this past winter, along with a rapid surge of warmer weather is expected to result in a long and miserable allergy season. Experts also suspect that higher-than-normal carbon dioxide emissions are fueling pollen production, causing plants to produce three to five times more pollen. Hay fever is mainly caused by the pollen spores of ragweed plants, which are found in large numbers in the Philadelphia area. Mold is another autumn allergy culprit. Until temperatures dip into the freezing digits, mold spores maintain a prolific presence outdoors.

Allergies occur when the body's immune system overreacts to a substance that generally doesn't bother other people. Seasonal allergies can cause nasal congestion, watery eyes, runny nose and irritated sinuses.

"Allergies can affect school and work performance,” says Dr. Ghaderi. “They can also interfere with sports, sleep and relationships.''

As the fall allergy season begins to make many in the Delaware Valley miserable, Dr. Ghaderi offers advice for minimizing the effects of allergy symptoms:

  • Get a diagnosis. To determine whether you've got seasonal allergies, and how severe they are, make an appointment with your doctor.
  • Treat early. If you use nasal antihistamines, steroids, oral antihistamines, or eye drops for seasonal allergies, don't wait until your symptoms are unbearable to start treatment.
  • Dress appropriately. Wear oversized sunglasses to block airborne pollens and use a wide-brimmed hat or cap to keep pollen and other allergens from landing in your hair or eyes.
  • Stay indoors. Try to stay indoors during the early morning hours when pollen is at its highest concentration and on windy days, which can stir up additional pollen spores.
  • Manage irritants at home. Vacuum regularly, eliminate dust-collecting knickknacks, use filters on your dehumidifiers and air conditioners, and keep windows and doors closed.

To find a primary care physician or sinus specialist near you, call 877.GO MERCY.

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