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Fighting fall allergies? You're not alone

Pollen, ragweed and mold are making life miserable because they're at their highest levels of the year.

Posted: Oct 21, 2019 10:36 AM

For 12-year-old Kayden Durall, this is a tough time of the year. She suffers from asthma and allergies and knows what it's like when allergies hit.

"Depending on the season sometimes my eyes get really itchy and if I'm running around a lot in fall or spring I start wheezing a little bit," Kayden said.

Pollen, ragweed and mold are making life miserable because they're at their highest levels of the year.

"We are right in the middle of it and our pollen counts have been high with weed pollen being predominant," Dr. Selina Gierer, The University of Kansas Health System allergist.

Allergists at the University of Kansas Health System say ragweed pollen can travel hundreds of miles and the symptoms can range from the sniffles to something more dangerous.

"Patients are going to have nose congestion, they're going to have itchy, drippy, watery eyes, itchy drippy watery nose. They're going to have sneezing they're going to feel like very congested. Sometimes patients will have headaches," said Dr. Gierer. "Often people who have asthma will have increased asthma related chest type tightness, cough and sneezing as well."

Over-the-counter allergy medicines are usually the go-to, but for some people an allergist is the only way to ease allergy symptoms.

"Typically if medications are not helping enough that's the time to see an allergist," Dr. Gierer said. "We also do a lot of allergy shots. Allergy immunotherapy allergy shots can be helpful for essentially curing allergen sensitivity in a patient."

Kayden went to an allergist more than five years ago and now with the help of the right medications she's held her symptoms at bay.

"Finding that right combination of meds, understanding what she's allergic to, and understanding what works for her makes her daily life normal and that's the goal," Kayden's mom, Sarah Durall said.

Now, for Kayden, enjoying this time of year no longer means suffering.

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Monday we had mostly sunny skies for much of the day across northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri until the afternoon when we saw a few clouds move into the area. We will clear out late tonight into tomorrow morning then have lots of sunshine along with hot and humid conditions.
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