Drought having an impact on allergies


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) —  Many in Middle Tennessee have noticed an increase in allergy symptoms over the past couple of months. The recent unusually hot and dry weather is partly to blame. In fact, drought and above-average temperatures can have an impact on allergies.

We spoke to Dr. Amit Patel today about seasonal allergies. For some people, drought can reduce allergic symptoms. Those who have localized allergies or who are allergic to mold which thrives in wetter weather, may see a reduction in symptoms. However, the majority of those who have allergies see their symptoms worsen during drought.

This year’s ragweed season, in particular, has been difficult for those who are allergic to this type of pollen. Ragweed typically starts blooming in late August and then stops after the first freeze. A surplus of rain earlier in the year led to an earlier than average bloom.

The recent dry conditions have led to higher than average levels of ragweed pollen in the air. Typically rain will wash away some of this pollen, leading to temporary relief for allergy sufferers. This September was the driest on record and due to the lack of rain, ragweed levels remain high.

Middle Tennessee, in particular, has a lot of allergens in the air. It’s a basin so pollen and other particulates collect here more easily than they do other places.

Dr. Patel recommends avoiding allergens as much as possible and using allergy medicine and nasal spray to combat allergy symptoms. If those are not helping, you may need to seek out medical help to deal with your symptoms.

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