Preparing for the fall allergy season

Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 5:11 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - If you’ve been feeling a little off lately, doctors remind us we are approaching the fall allergy season.

According to UVA Health Allergist Dr. Jeff Wilson, ragweed is at its worst in August and September, meaning it’s prime time for allergy sufferers to feel its effects.

Dust mites also thrive on heat and humidity as does mold.

Symptoms include a runny nose, congestion, sneezing as well as watery, itchy eyes.

If you’re wondering, ‘Do I have COVID or just allergies?’ - Dr. Jeff Wilson has some advice.

“Allergies are a lot less likely to present with things like fever, cough, sore throat, achy muscles,” he said. “Things like that tend to be pretty common with COVID and other viral infections. And then COVID can also cause GI symptoms and some folks that would be you know, very unusual for a respiratory allergy as well.”

Still Dr. Wilson recommends taking a COVID test if you’re not sure.

To treat allergies, he recommends a once-a-day oral anti-histamine or steroid nasal spray. If those remedies don’t work, he recommends visiting an allergist.

Dr. Wilson says there’s data to suggest that climate change will have an effect on allergy seasons.

“A lot of the day data showing that with climate change, that the allergy seasons are going to last longer. And so that probably means starting earlier, and then persisting longer. And I think that’s, that’s probably generally going to be true for many things, including fall allergens,” he said.