Hurricane Irma makes fall allergies even worse

Sept. 15, 2017: Fall allergies are even more severe than normal thanks to the effects of Hurricane Irma.

KNOXVILLE - Allergies in the fall are almost as bad as spring. And if you have them, then you already know it's no fun going outside.

But Hurricanes Irma and Harvey have only made things worse for allergy sufferers.

Chief Meteorologist Todd Howell at WMAZ's sister station in Knoxville says that's because a hurricane is like a vacuum.

"It sucks up not only the moisture from the ground, but you know, dirt, debris, insects, a lot of particular matter," said Howell.

It can move a lot of pollen spores too, especially ragweed.

"We are moving into our time of the year where ragweed, in the early fall pattern we're having, is starting to get higher anyway, but perhaps extra contributions from Harvey and other hurricanes transporting some of that mold and other algae spores into our region," said Howell.

It doesn't help that ragweed is a allergy sufferer's worst nightmare.

Karla Jones is a Family Nurse Practitioner at Knoxville's Allergy Asthma and Sinus Center.

"One plant can emit like a billion grains of pollen, so that can travel for hundreds of miles," said Jones.

She has a few tips if your nose is runny this fall.

"The best thing to do to avoid the ragweed pollen is just to keep the doors and the windows shut," said Jones. "Keep outdoor pollens outdoors where they belong. Come see us of course and get tested to see if you're positive for ragweed. And allergy shots are the only cure for ragweed pollen."

Jones said over the counter drugs can work, but don't be afraid to go see a doctor if your allergies keep bugging you.

They have more powerful drugs and even shots you can get that can get rid of them altogether.

© 2017 WBIR.COM


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