Plenty of Iowans are grouchier than normal lately — as they’re feeling the impact of the fall allergy season. Sufferers in Iowa are already experiencing the typical symptoms, which allergy specialist Dr. Fred Kiechel says include sneezing, runny nose and itchy, watery eyes.
Kiechel says, "The pollen counts are very high and I think the fact we had more rain this summer, there’s been a bumper crop of weeds and when they start to pollinate, there’s going to be a lot of pollen in the air." He says about one in every five Iowans has some sort of allergy and many of them are being hit right now.
Kiechel says: "Up to 20 percent can have allergy problems, some are more severe than others. It’s not really more prevalent in children. Allergy is common. Children, when they’re two or three, oftentimes will start to develop allergy symptoms so allergy can appear at any time." He says September is typically the worst time for allergy sufferers and the pesky weeds will continue to pollinate until the first hard freeze. Kiechel says it can affect some Iowans’ productivity at school or work
He says: "Some people just get miserable and it’s hard for them to function. They have done studies in children where they do standard test scores and they’ve shown that with the allergic people, the test scores in the fall, when the weed pollens are out, are frequently lower than the same tests given at a different time of year when they aren’t exposed to allergens."
Kiechel recommends allergy sufferers keep the windows shut and stay indoors as much as possible. It may help to wash your hair and clothes more frequently. He also advises people to see an allergy specialist for a medication that may help to ease their symptoms.