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Fall Allergies in Montana
Montana, famous for its tall mountains and plentiful clear rivers, may seem like an allergy-free region. However, no region in the United States is exempt from hosting certain allergens.
Types of allergens, especially pollen, differ during certain times of the year. During the fall, Montana residents and visitors who are sensitive to certain types of pollen may experience an array of symptoms. Allergies are treatable once you have identified what you are sensitive to.
Fall allergies in Montana primarily consist of grass and weed pollen. Weeds pollinate through October, while grasses pollinate through November. When released into the air, pollen is carried and distributed by the fall’s windy conditions. The website Distinctly Montana reports that air pollution is another leading cause of allergies. Air pollution is a combination of gasses from automobiles, controlled wood burnings and forest fires.
Grasses and weeds pollinate in the spring time, but continue to release pollen well into the fall months. According to Allergy Escape, grasses indigenous to Montana include Bermuda, Timothy, orchard, wild oat, rye, Johnson, red top, brome and meadow fescue. Weed allergies in Montana are attributed to ragweed, tumbleweed, pigweed, yellow dock, sagebrush, English plantain, careless weed, kochia, scales, cocklebur, marsh elder and lambsquarter.
A pollen allergy is also referred to as hay fever.
Symptoms of a hay fever include sneezing, sinus headache, post nasal drip, dark under-eye circles, itchy eyes, conjunctivitis, itchy throat and fatigue. Severe hay fever can contribute to allergic asthma. Allergic asthma occurs when certain allergens aggravate the linings of your lungs, causing the bronchial tubes to inflame and constrict. In such a case, you may wheeze and experience shortness of breath as well as coughing.
Preventing your exposure to allergens during the fall in Montana can ease your symptoms. Stay indoors as often as possible, especially while exercising. Allergy Escape recommends that you especially do not venture outdoors between 5:00 a.m. and 10:00 am. Although the fall Montana air may seem cool and inviting, avoid the temptation to open your windows. Once you expose your home to the open air, you will inadvertently invite pollen spores and air pollutants inside. Also dry your clothing indoors and shower regularly in order to rid your body of allergens. If you plan on visiting Montana during the autumn months, ask your doctor if you need to take any medications with you.
Medications are a viable solution if preventive measures do not ease your allergy symptoms. Over-the-counter antihistamines, such as Zyrtec, help your body block histamine release, thereby reducing symptoms in the first place. Such medications are taken daily, or on an as-needed basis, as long as your doctor consents. Decongestants relieve nasal and sinus congestion. If over-the-counter medications do not help, see your doctor for a prescription. If you do not respond to daily medications, allergy shots are another solution for symptom relief. According to Allergy Escape, allergy shots help you build a tolerance to certain allergens, thereby reducing the need for medications in the future.