Fall allergies bearing down

If you have been sniffling, sneezing, and coughing over the last few weeks, you arenâ??t alone. Allergy season is bearing down on us.

Itâ??s ragweed season, the main cause of hay fever, which peaks in September. The plant itself is everywhere and it likes really hot weather, so with a record setting summer like we have had, itâ??s not surprising levels are so high.

Although allergy symptoms are similar to having a cold, there are some key things that separate the two.

â??Allergy symptoms are typically itchy eyes, watery eyes, itchy nose, runny nose; you might get some nasal drip which causes you to cough. Itâ??s usually a dry hacky cough. You wonâ??t ache and run a temp versus a cold you are going to feel achy and run down and tired, just pretty miserable,â?? Elliot Health Mart Pharmacist Alice Allinson said.

People suffering from allergy symptoms generally only require over the counter medications. Pharmacists say there is no real difference in the quality of generic versus name brand; except that some brands just work better for certain people.

If you have tried over the counter medications and still are having severe symptoms, it might be time to visit your doctor.

â??If you have tried everything over the counter and you are still miserable, yes, you probably need to see your doctor. There are some things they can do. Some people are so miserable they will need an actual oral steroid. Some will need a steroid nasal spray because their nasal passages become so inflamed that they need something like that, which of course takes a prescription,â?? said Allinson.

If you suffer from allergies, pharmacists recommend avoiding areas with freshly cut grass and lawn care activities. Secondly, minimize outdoor activity between 5 a.m. and 10a.m. And finally it is recommended to keep your windows closed and have your air run through a filter.

Allergy season will likely continue getting worse with the warm dry conditions. While raining cool days bring temporary relief, no significant end to fall allergies will come until we receive a hard frost.