Guilty Behind Most People’s Allergy Symptoms in Central Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Seasonal changes often lead to seasonal allergies, and many middle Tennessees are experiencing allergy symptoms as the fall season approaches.

Dr. Basil Kahwash, assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Pulmonary Medicine and Allergy Critical Care at VUMC, said ragweed is the main culprit for many people’s allergy symptoms at this time of year. the year.

“It’s a very common allergy, one of the things I’m often most suspicious of when testing someone for allergies,” Dr Kahwash said.

He added that ragweed typically peaks in early September in central Tennessee.

“It starts to really pollinate in a big way around mid-August, so ragweed season has been on for a while now. And then that will dissipate over the next few weeks to a slightly lower level.

According to Dr. Kahwash, if you are allergic to one type of ragweed, you can be allergic to all of them.

“There are about 17 species of ragweed, and they tend to cross-react with each other. So if you’re allergic to any of them, you could be allergic to almost all of them” , did he declare.

Ragweed isn’t the only fall allergen. As soon as the leaves begin to fall, another fall allergy culprit can take over.

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“Mildew is another big problem, and it’s more of a late fall problem because people are raking their leaves, the leaves are dry, and they’re building up a lot of moisture, either from rain or something else. And that can be a prime environment for mold to start growing,” Dr. Kahwash said.

According to Dr. Kahwash, viruses circulating during the fall months can also be mistaken for allergies.

“Sometimes it can be very difficult to tell the difference between a viral infection and just allergy symptoms. The thing I tell patients the most is that the number one criteria for symptoms is itching. If you are itchy, if your nose is itchy, your eyes are itchy, or your throat is itchy, it could be a sign that you might be dealing with an allergy. fever, probably not allergic, it is much more likely that it is an infection of some kind.

Studies have also shown that warmer temperatures can lead to longer allergy seasons.

“It’s a phenomenon that people have studied a lot in recent years. And we’ve noticed that allergy seasons tend to get progressively longer over time because we think that’s related to climate change, and specifically the warming of the atmosphere that’s happening earlier. Pollen expansion, as far as things go, is like ragweed, and therefore a longer ragweed allergy season,” he explained.

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