If the fall season is when your allergies go haywire, you probably don't need to see the numbers to know that it's a bad time of year for mold spores.
Trees and other plants shed foliage as they prepare for winter, and that brush starts to decompose.
And you probably already know that mold spore counts have been elevated for much of the past two weeks, and have very recently spiked to their highest levels.
After generally hovering between 3,000 and 5,000 spores in every cubic meter of air the past two weeks, the mold spore count skyrocketed to more than 11,000 Tuesday.
That puts it well into the "very high" category.
At this stage, almost anyone with any level of sensitivity to mold spores will feel some symptoms.
And not only is there a lot of mold, it tends to trigger stronger reactions than other allergens.
"Mold spores are smaller than the ragweed particles. They can go deeper into the sinus. So many people who are allergic to mold spores will have sinus headaches and sinus pressure more so than the classic itching that you get with ragweed hay fever," said Dr. Steve Kagen, allergist with the Kagen Allergy Clinic.
Since mold spores are present both indoors and outdoors, avoiding exposure can be very difficult.
Thankfully, the usual over-the-counter allergy medicines should work very well.
And sufferers might be needing them, because mold doesn't typically quiet down until after the second hard frost of the season.
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