Unusually warm fall temperatures complicate life for allergy sufferers

This fall, it seems like summer is having a hard time letting go, and no one is feeling that more than Georgia college student Grayson Glover.

"I'm allergic to grass, trees, pretty much everything," Glover says.  "So, it's always worse in the changing seasons."

Glover relies on allergy shots every two weeks to get through the spring and summer high pollen counts.


Then, when the cooler weather hits in the fall, she usually gets a break from her symptoms.

But, it's October, and Glover is still struggling.

"Because I have allergies and asthma and the hotter weather affects my asthma, too," she says.  "Walking back and forth between my college classes, I'm constantly outside.  So, it's definitely annoying."

Atlanta Allergy and Asthma's Dr. Stanley Fineman says the longer the summer temperatures stick around,

the higher the pollen count will remain, and more allergy sufferers will struggle.

Fineman says many of his patients are reporting unusually severe symptoms.

"We've had a lot of mold over the last few weeks, and we're certainly seeing a typical fall pollen," Dr. Fineman says. "Ragweed is one of the biggest problems we see here in the Atlanta metro area. We also see trees that are late pollinators, they're fall pollinators."

And it's not just the pollen that is the problem.

"We've seen higher-than-usual mold counts as well," Fineman says.

Most nasal allergy sufferers can get relief with an over-the-counter nasal decongestant spray or an antihistamine like Allegra or Claritin.


Unusually warm weather has triggered a more severe fall allergy season across the South.

If your allergies are severe, Dr. Fineman recommends allergy testing, to pinpoint what is triggering your symptoms.

This time of year, ragweed, tree pollen or mold are common allergens, he says.

"We can identify what's causing it, and then, when they follow the pollen count and see what's in the atmosphere, then they can take precautions.  They can say, 'Oh there's a lot of ragweed out right now. I need to be doing more indoors.'"


Ragweed under the microscope

For now, Grayson Glover is getting her shots, and wishing summer would just go already.