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Fall is here…get ready for seasonal allergies

Now that it seems we’ve left the triple-digit heat of summer behind, we’re looking forward to cooler temperatures. But with the cooler weather comes a slew of allergies.

Dr. Adrian Casillas, board-certified allergy and immunology specialist with The Hospitals of Providence, says the most common culprit for fall allergies is ragweed, a plant that grows wild almost everywhere. Ragweed blooms and releases pollen from August to November. In many areas of the country, ragweed pollen levels are highest in early to mid-September.

Other plants that trigger fall allergies include:

Burning bush
Cocklebur
Lamb’s-quarters
Pigweed
Sagebrush and mugwort
Tumbleweed and Russian thistle

In El Paso, it’s also windy in the fall, which blows pollen, pollution and other allergens around and can make allergies more severe. Pollen levels tend to peak in morning hours.

Dr. Casillas says over-the-counter nasal steroids and antihistamines will work for most people. However, he adds, if you’re still having issues with allergies you should have a blood test to determine which allergens are causing you problems.

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