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Have you been sneezing more? Ragweed pollen counts are nearing seasonal peak

Allergens are present every year in Kentuckiana. Some allergens make themselves known more than others - especially ragweed.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — We are no strangers to dealing with a variety of allergens here in the Ohio Valley. 

As we approach what is often the peak of ragweed season (mid-September), let’s explore why it gets so bad in Louisville and how we can ease this allergy season's woes. 

Dr. Natalie Miller, an allergist at Family Allergy & Asthma, explained there are several contributing factors for why allergen counts are particularly high in cities like Louisville with an urban heat island. 

For one: Miller said ragweed likes to be in larger cities because there is more pollution there. Climate change could be a contributor as well. 

"Pollution, and even climate change, have increased the actual [effects] of ragweed pollen," she said.

While heavy rain can bring temporary respite from pollen, it can have adverse effects. Miller said when there is a lot of moisture in the air, it can actually increase mold counts. 

So, rain can certainly help to wash down pollen, but sometimes if its just a light rain, those raindrops can hit the flower petals, causing them to release even more pollen than before.

Miller's best advice is to keep the allergy medicine handy and reach out to your local primary care provider for any more help. 

Also be aware of any plants that you bring indoors this upcoming fall season that could make your allergies worse.  

“It’s ok to still have your beautiful fall flowers and your mums, but you want to be careful about any indoor plants that you bring in," she said. "They could have mold and that can really flare up your allergies as well.” 

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