For release: August 12, 2013|
Amy Kilgore 330.344.6014, KilgorA@ccf.org
Kelly Ward-Smith 330.344.1681, WardSmK@ccf.org
The record spring rains and the damp summer season occurring throughout the Midwest this year have resulted in conditions that are wreaking havoc on the eyes and the sinuses of allergy sufferers. This is due to the proliferation of weed pollen, particularly ragweed.
"Ragweed season could potentially be more severe this year because of the amount of rain we've experienced throughout the Midwest, unless August and September are much drier,” says Bela B. Faltay, MD, Chief of Service, Allergy, Akron General Health System. “Molds are also going to be higher, causing more distress to allergic individuals. Symptoms may even be noticed prior to August 15 this year."
According to the National Institutes of Health, most of the pollen that causes allergic reactions comes from plants that don’t have showy flowers, such as trees, weeds and grasses. These plants make small, light and dry pollen grains that are carried by wind. Airborne pollen can drift for many miles. Amazingly, scientists have collected samples of ragweed pollen 400 miles out at sea and two miles high in the air. In addition, most allergy‐causing pollen comes from plants that produce it in huge quantities. For example, a single ragweed plant can generate a million grains of pollen every day.
Among North American plants, weeds produce the largest amounts of allergenic pollen. Ragweed is the major culprit, but other important sources of weed pollen come from sagebrush, redroot pigweed, lamb’s quarters, Russian thistle (tumbleweed) and English plantain.
Ragweed season, otherwise known as hay fever season, commonly starts in the middle of August.
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About Akron General Health System
Akron General Health System is a not-for-profit health care organization with the mission of improving the health and lives of the people and communities it serves. Akron General Health System includes: Akron General Medical Center, a 532-registered-bed teaching and research medical center, and Edwin Shaw Rehabilitation Institute, the area’s largest provider of rehabilitation services; Akron General Partners, which includes Partners Physician Group, the Akron General Health & Wellness Centers, Lodi Community Hospital, Community Health Centers and other companies; Akron General Community Health Ventures, which includes Visiting Nurse Service and Affiliates, the largest and most comprehensive provider of home healthcare services in Ohio; and Akron General Foundation. Recently, U.S. News & World Report ranked Akron General Medical Center as the fifth best hospital in Ohio. In 2013, the American Nurses Association bestowed the prestigious “Magnet” status on the more that 1,000 nurses from Akron General Medical Center, Edwin Shaw Rehabilitation Institute and the Health System’s Health & Wellness Centers. For more information about Akron General Health System, visit www.akrongeneral.org.