Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Long Live the King of Pollen Allergies

Images of the fall season include football, the return to school, the changing of the leaves, crisp and cool days and evenings, and the autumn harvest. It’s also the time for fall allergies caused by weed pollen that will last until the first frost. Weed pollen, the fine coarse powder containing the microgametophytes of seed plants, is the origin of the allergy problem. Often referred to as the “King of Pollen Allergies,” ragweed is the number one offender for the fall season in North America.

For a human that is sensitive to pollens, there can be allergic responses any time of the year, known as “hay fever” or “allergic rhinitis” which is the inflammation of the nasal airways. With approximately one in three people having an active allergy at any given time, and knowing that at least three in four people develop an allergic reaction at least once in their lives, this is an enormous problem to a very high segment of our society. 

As an athlete, managing allergies in relation to training or activity is of high importance. Ragweed is tough as nails and grows aggressively in an assortment of places. So for someone who suffers from fall allergies associated with ragweed, pollen levels peak for this plant peak between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm.

The management of allergic rhinitis includes:
  • Checking your local pollen counts (go to the The Weather Network)
  • Minimize exposure to pollen
  • Consider staying indoors
  • Keep windows closed
  • Prevent and reduce symptoms by taking over-the-counter antihistamines and intranasal corticosteroids
Taking these particulars into consideration when planning outdoor activities no matter if it’s a run, bike ride, or dog walk, will go a long way in safeguarding that an allergy sufferer is not outside at the peak of the potential misery.

For more information on health, fitness and the environment, please visit SIRC.

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