Zach’s Weather Whys: Science behind Fall allergies

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CENTRAL ILLINOIS — Welcome to this week’s edition of Zach’s Weather Whys.
Just what makes fall allergies so severe?

If you’re always sniffling and sneezing when the trees drop their leaves, you can blame mother nature for that.
The triggers are a little different than in the springtime, but the symptoms are the same.
Doctors say ragweed is a big allergy trigger in Central Illinois, and if you are allergic to that, you might be affected by more.

“It’s actually called oral allergy syndrome, and there’s certain proteins that are in pollen and in fresh fruits and vegetables. So, people with ragweed often say they react to bananas or melons or cucumbers,” said Dr. Neha Dunn, Allergist with OSF Medical Center.

Though ragweed releases pollen with cooler nights and warmer days in August, it could last well
Into September or October.
Allergist Neha Dunn says there’s one other suspect that could be causing your troubles, and if you have any piles of wet leaves in your yard, you may want to avoid them.

“If a little kid goes and jumps in it, or you start raking leaves that makes the mold spores airborne, and then it’s easier to inhale or cause allergies,” said Dr. Dunn.

Gusty winds associated with strong cold fronts have no trouble blowing all those particles into your homes and into your nose.
A dry and windy day will flare those symptoms even more.
On a windy day, combines and other farm equipment can also throw dust into the air adding insult to injury.
Whether it affects you or not, there’s no doubt that weather is connected to your allergies.
I’m Meteorologist Zach Hatcher, join me next time for another segment of Zach’s Weather Whys.

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