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Autumn Allergies

fall_leaves1_hAutumn conjures up cozy images of pumpkins, soft sweaters, and colorful leaves. The cooler weather is a welcome relief from the humid air of summer, but for those suffering from fall allergies, autumn can be miserable. 10% to 30% of the American population suffers from allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hay fever. Individuals dealing with hay fever experience a range of symptoms: an itchy throat and eyes, sneezing, trouble breathing, congestion, hives, even fatigue and trouble sleeping. During autumn, the most likely culprit for hay fever is pollen from ragweed plant varieties; about 17 different types exist in North America. Pollen is released in late summer and the pollen grains travel easily on the wind, allowing a single ragweed to release up to one billion pollen grains over an entire season.

Molds are another common fall allergy. Mold spores survive into late fall, after ragweed season has ended. Since both indoor and outdoor molds exist, individuals with mold allergies have a particularly difficult time. In the fall, mold grows on fallen leaves, compost piles, and in the soil. The light mold spores rise up during the hotter part of the day and settle down in the evening. Those suffering from mold allergies are advised to keep their yard clear of leaf litter and wear goggles or a mask to protect themselves when raking leaves.

Over-the-counter allergy medications can also minimize allergy symptoms. Talking with a doctor or visiting an allergist to test for possible allergies may also help individuals suffering hay fever-like symptoms in the fall. Search Real Local Pages (RLP) for local pharmacies and trusted physicians to help you deal with fall allergies. RLP is an online directory of businesses that can be used locate stores and services in your area.  Visit the RLP website, http://www.reallocalpages.com, and enter your zip code or city. Using the search box, enter keywords such as “pharmacy,” to find nearby pharmacies. Locate doctors by clicking on “physicians” under the popular categories list on the RLP home page. Results will show the contact information and address of each business or doctor. RLP can be used to find a variety of other businesses and services, from hotels and spas, to veterinarians and landscapers.