Fall Allergies Coming Earlier, Allergist Says

If you're coughing, sniffling and sneezing, it may not be a cold. You could have fall allergies. According to one allergist at the Atlanta Allergy and Asthma Clinic, fall allergies have come earlier than usual this year after record-high pollen counts.

Katherine Tippins says she is allergic to everything.

"I'm actually pan-allergic. That's the term my last doctor used. And I asked him, 'Do you see a lot of pan allergic patients?' and he said ‘no,'" said Tippins.

When it comes to suffering from allergies, Tippins isn't alone.

"We've seen patients who have come in earlier than usual this fall pollen season. And part of it, we've been seeing, is higher tree pollen counts," said allergist Dr. Stanley Fineman.

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It's been a season of record-high tree pollen counts. On August 28, the pollen count was 424. It may not seem high after the pollen count numbering in the thousands this past spring, but 424 is high for an August day.

"We attribute this to a cedar elm tree, which is now pollinating. And it happens to be usually in the fall, but we haven't seen the counts quite so high," said Fineman.

He says ragweed pollen counts have also been extremely high. He estimates they're only going to get higher. He says it hard to tell the difference between a cold or a virus and a true allergy.

Fineman says you'll know it's an allergy if you feel itching in addition to feeling run-down. But you don't have to suffer. If it gets too bad, go see a doctor.

"I usually get two shots in one arm, and one shot in the other, and I come every other week," said Tippins.

Rain can sometimes make the pollen count go down. However, depending on the type of rain, it can make your symptoms worse. It's best to know the pollen count each day. You can get an alert with the number emailed to you. For more information on Atlanta Allergy and Asthma Clinic's Pollen Count Alert System, click here.

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