TWIN CITIES, Minn. -- If you've been sneezing and sniffling all weekend, fall allergies have arrived early and are blooming big time.
Dr. Pramod Kelkar, an Allina Clinics allergist based out of Woodbury, is hearing more complaints as the pollen count rises. He says symptoms spiked with last week's heat wave.
"It's turning out to be bad year for allergies especially when weather is dry, windy and hot. That is when the pollen is going to be very high in the air and people have lots of symptoms of running nose, itchy nose, watery red eyes," he said.
Isha Aggarwal knows. She is sneezing her way into the school year. Her fall allergies right in line with last week's heat wave.
"I am allergic to grass and trees and pollen and flowers, and they make my eyes itch really badly. My nose gets stuffy and itchy and running at the same time so I have to take a lot of medicine for it," said Aggarwal.
Dr. Kelkar points to ragweed as the top irritant of the fall season, but also warns mold allergies are chronic in fall, especially when it rains. He says the cold Minnesota winters are usually the one season of relief for outdoor allergy sufferers.
"Allergies are not something like shoe sizes that will change. They will usually stay the same. Many times they will get worse, rarely they will get better," said Dr. Kelkar.
That's why Aggarwal's allergies come back with the same vengeance every fall. Her best defense is what her doctors recommend, the right regimen of over the counter and prescription medicines. She uses antihistamines, nasal sprays and eye drops.
"It's horrible, it irritates me when I am trying to sleep, at school I keep sneezing," said Aggarwal.
Approximately 40 million Americans have indoor/outdoor allergies as their primary allergy, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
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