HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Tuesday marked the first full day of fall. While most look forward to the change of seasons, this time of year can wreak havoc with allergy and asthma sufferers. The most common culprit is ragweed pollen, although elm trees can also pose a problem in North Alabama.
Many allergists say they're already seeing an increase in patient complaints. Those with the most severe allergies must still rely on prescription medications and shots. However, mild and moderate allergies can often be treated over-the-counter.
Dr. Rebecca Raby with Allergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology Specialists in Huntsville says OTC medication options have never been better. "Just recently, topical nasal steroids have been made available over the counter and these are probably the most effective therapy for symptom control," she adds.
Lifestyle changes can also make a difference. Pollen counts are higher in the morning, so consider delaying outdoor activities until late afternoon or early evening. In addition, keeping windows closed and changing your air filter can help prevent pollen from becoming a problem indoors.