Local News

Ah-Choo! Fall Brings Allergies To Triangle

Posted October 25, 2006 9:11 a.m. EDT

— The Triangle routinely ranks among the best places to live in the country, but it also rates as a top locale for fall allergies.

Fall is one of the most beautiful times of year in the area, but many people choose to stay indoors because a strong mix of seasonal allergens makes them miserable.

The Triangle is rated as No. 66 among metro areas across the country for fall allergies by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Greenville, S.C., tops the list.

  • Fall Allergy Capitals

    Fall pollens, molds and ragweed are the main triggers for seasonal allergies. Molds can grow in moist areas of the home or almost anywhere outdoors, and raking leaves or mowing grass can stir them up.

    Many people, like Heather Allison of Raleigh, are just discovering that they're allergic to autumn in the Triangle.

    "I'm not sure what it is. I've heard it's ragweed season, so I just moved from the Florida Keys and it's definitely affecting me" Allison said.

    Some people see an allergist and get allergy shots, but Allison said she uses over-the-counter allergy medications.

    Tommy Dillard of Raleigh said she swears by natural remedies.

    "I don't take anything but a spoonful of honey," Dillard said, noting that locally produced honey often contains some of the pollens that cause allergies and helps build immunity to them.

    Pollen counts are highest between 5 and 10 a.m.

    "I try to avoid the morning time -- getting out too early -- because I think it's the worst thing," Allison said.

    Physicians said people also should be careful not to confuse allergy symptoms a cold or sinus infection, all of which involve congestion or a runny nose.

    Colds often come with a low-grade fever and should last only about a week. Allergies don't produce a fever and often linger longer, and a sinus infection usually results in facial pain and a discolored nasal discharge.