If you live in Oklahoma, you can’t really escape fall allergies. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), Oklahoma City has dropped from the #7 spot to #10 and Tulsa has risen from #19 to #15 on the just released 2013 Fall Allergy Capitals. Each year, AAFA ranks the most challenging places to live with fall allergies in the United States. Rankings are based on pollen levels, use of over the counter and prescription allergy medication and the number of Board Certified allergists in each city.
Recent research shows that rising temperatures and carbon dioxide levels could be extending ragweed season by as much as a month or more. Pollen from weeds is a greater problem in the fall than in the spring and fall weeds are surprisingly more prevalent in major urban areas and locations with significant construction. High winds from extreme weather patterns cause pollen distribution leading to an increase in allergy symptoms.
Follow these simple steps to limit exposure to pollens and molds causing symptoms:
- Keep windows closed at night, and if possible use air conditioning which cleans, cools and dries the air.
- Try to stay indoors when the pollen and mold counts are high. If your symptoms are severe, wear a pollen mask if long periods of exposure are unavoidable. When you return indoors, take a shower, shampoo your hair and change your clothes.
- Avoid mowing or raking leaves which stirs up pollen and molds. Avoid hanging sheets or clothes outside to dry.
- Keep your windows closed when traveling by car.
If seasonal symptoms are causing you to be miserable, an allergist can help. OAAC’s board-certified allergists evaluate and manage patients of all ages from the southwest region. The main clinic is on the Oklahoma Health Center campus. For patient convenience, satellite offices are located in Edmond, Norman, and northwest Oklahoma City.
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