Allergy Alert: Weather Could Affect Ragweed Season

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - "I don't know what to expect this year because the weather is so unusual."

Allergists like Doctor Scot Snodgrass say on a national level ragweed is causing some major grief.

But following the rains from hurricanes Gustav and Fay in Region Eight, we got a little relief.

However, as conditions dry out, that could change.

"The last few days I've been suffering from ragweed. I've been coughing and sneezing, and pretty much what everyone else has been doing," said Mitch Hughes.

He is among those feeling the effect of ragweed, which can quickly irritate your allergies.

"A single ragweed plant will produce millions of grains of ragweed pollen. It's very buoyant and will travel sometimes hundreds of miles from the source," said Dr. Snodgrass.

Snodgrass says that's why recent rainfall has helped, but allergy season could still get a lot worse.

"If we have recurrent rain, then we won't have a bad ragweed, but if we happen to have a significant period of time, where we go six weeks without seeing some moisture, these levels will go through the roof," said Snodgrass.

With cooler temps aiding the pollination of ragweed, it's important to know that enjoying some fresh air, might not be the best of ideas.

Doctors say one of the worst things you can do during ragweed season is ride around with your windows down. Another place that collects allergens is inside your home, and doctors say if you like to sleep with the windows open, the best thing you can do is shut them.

As drier days draw closer, it's likely ragweed will be noticed again in Region Eight.

And for those already suffering, they've got just one wish.

"I'm hoping this wind will calm down, so maybe it won't be so bad the next few days," said Hughes.

I'm told that shorter days and cooler night temps are the main triggers for ragweed pollination.

It's also noted that with a cooler end to the summer, ragweed season got a bit of a head start this year.

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