SYLACAUGA, Ala. – As fall transitions into winter, many people become concerned about their allergies. Ragweed, goldenrod, and molds are the most common allergens affecting individuals this time of year. Other people suffer from perennial allergens, allergens affecting individuals regardless of season, like dust, animal dander, and fabric fiber.

Many have seen increased levels of allergies with the recent drought. Rain often clears the air and ground from common allergens. With the lack of rain, the allergens accumulate. Dry winds blow pollen spores throughout the air to further spread allergens. When combining these conditions, the average allergy sufferer tends to experience harsher symptoms.

With recent rain and more rain in upcoming forecasts, the threat of allergies will likely be reduced, although still high. The State of Alabama tends to have a higher pollen count that other states due to higher heat and humidity levels. Others attribute high pollen counts to the diverse group of foliage found in the Talladega County area. Talladega County has more grasses and trees than a typical coastal area. Because of this, those still affected can combat allergies by allergy shots, antihistamines, decongestants, steroid nose spays, and allergy eye drops.

Still, many wonder how allergies actually occur. According to local allergists, simply put, the immune system treats a harmless substance like ragweed entering the body system as a threat. The body begins to fight the allergen with antibodies, and the bloodstream is ultimately filled with histamine, a substance causing the typical allergy symptoms of runny nose, headache, sneezing, and more to occur.

Jack Wilbanks for SylacaugaNews.com | © 2016, SylacaugaNews.com/Marble City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.