Weeds causing problems for fall allergy sufferers

ATLANTA — If you suffer from fall allergies, you might be really feeling them about now.

Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Eboni Deon said some weeds are becoming more active and causing problems for allergy sufferers.

Deon spoke to a metro Atlanta doctor, who said that your symptoms could get worse if you don’t take proper actions to stay healthy.

Dr. Stanley Fineman, an allergist for Atlanta Allergy and Asthma, said they see patients with symptoms primarily in the spring with spring pollens -- and then again in the fall with weeds.

“Ragweed is one of the major culprits right now,” Fineman said. He said it usually causes nasal congestion, an itchy nose and eyes, sneezing and generally feeling run down.


Bob Petersen said when he first moved to Georgia, he contemplated moving back to Arizona because his allergies gave him fits.

“One of the most notable problems I had was in the fall with ragweed,” Petersen said. “The most annoying thing was it caused your eyes to swell, your nose to swell, you have a runny nose, headaches.”

Fineman said you may not see ragweed in your own yard, but the pollen is around. Fineman said it’s mostly in areas partially-developed like a city park, along roads and in open fields, and the spores can travel 50 miles or more.

“It’s been quite high recently because I think we’ve had a lot of rain this summer,” Fineman said.

Rain has contributed to ragweed growth and other allergens.

“We also see mold. We’ve had a lot of mold,” Fineman said. “And interestingly, in the metro Atlanta area, we see some elm trees that pollinate in the fall.”

The changing weather conditions in the fall allow ragweed to blossom.

“(Ragweed blooms) when we see cooler nights, which is what we’re seeing now, and a little warmer days,” Fineman said.

Once it turns even cooler and we have our first frost is when we’ll see ragweed go away.

The first frost on average in Atlanta is November 3, so allergy sufferers will need to have a plan to squash symptoms for the next several weeks.