Hay Fever Forecast: Good for two More Weeks

Pollen Season On Hold

It’s a misnomer to say that all summer allergies come from pollens. Sure it’s true that trees still pollinate a bit right thru the fall and grasses can still exhale a puff of pollen into August, but fact is both trees and grasses have pollinated themselves out for the season. Their pollen producing factories have all but shut down. For most folks then, late July and early August are tops for enjoying the outdoors in a pollen free environment. (I will talk more about ragweed in a bit).

But there are a select few out there who are suffering from hay fever related symptoms right now. These are the mold sufferers. Those people who have allergic reactions to fungus growths that thrive in the damp and humid weather of mid summer.

When I think fungus, I think of growths like wild mushrooms and Downey mildew (those milky white streaks on your grass that follow long periods of high humidity and wet weather). Since we remain in a drought, these fungal growths are struggling to survive this summer and are flourishing only in secluded woods that are shaded from the hot and dry conditions we have experienced.

What happens with fungus growths like mushrooms is they produce spores (microscopic organisms that grow on the fungus). These spores then reproduce and along comes the wind to transport them from one landscape or lawn to another. Where spores migrate, people who come in contact with the air they have invaded will inhale them. And for some, that can produce symptoms like wheezing, sneezing, itchy eyes and scratchy throats.

While mold levels are at their highest levels of the summer right now (thanks to a moderately moist July), the actual amount of mold in their air is still very benign due to the overall dryness of the drought summer of 2007.

By the way hay fever sufferers, I conclude this pollen-free story with the dreaded R-word. Ragweed season begins in 2 weeks and here’s a flash! Ragweed is at its pollen producing worst during drought summers. Haaa-chewww!

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