What am I allergic to in NYC right now?
September 10, 2018 7:59 AM   Subscribe

Hi folks, I've been having bad allergies for the past week or so. I live in Brooklyn. What could I be allergic to?

I've noticed that every fall, I get bad allergies - much worse than my spring allergies. I know I should probably get allergy tests, but does anyone have any ideas about what it is that I'm allergic to right now? I think I'm allergic to dust and mold - is fall very dusty and moldy? Is there anything I'm not thinking of here? Any tips for managing it? Thank you!!
posted by catcafe to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Ragweed? I can set my fall calendar by it.
posted by Melismata at 8:15 AM on September 10, 2018 [3 favorites]


weather.com has an allergy tracker where you can input your zip code and it will tell you what the current triggers are in your area. i assume it's based on factual science and not shrug emoji but who even knows.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:34 AM on September 10, 2018 [2 favorites]


I get this in central NY, and was always told to blame ragweed.
posted by tchemgrrl at 8:47 AM on September 10, 2018


If you're allergic to mold, that could definitely be it. Spore levels are high in fall as everything dries out! I am extremely allergic to some types of mold and suffer every fall. My allergist recommends starting antihistimes daily around mid Aug and continuing until snow, ymmv.
posted by DTMFA at 8:48 AM on September 10, 2018


i have no answers but a shit ton of sympathy/solidarity - i sneezed for like 30 minutes straight this morning.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 9:14 AM on September 10, 2018


It was always ragweed for me when this happened in NYC.
posted by Smearcase at 9:14 AM on September 10, 2018


similar to what poffin boffin mentions, pollen.com will let you enter your zip code and view current pollen counts (by pollen type) in your area. it also tracks historical pollen levels and offers pollen forecasts.

right now there's not much going on in terms of pollen, since rain washes pollen out of the air, but it's been high for grass and ragweed. the rainy and humid summer has been super-conducive to mold growth. you may want to check your home and workplace to see if there are any mold sources? windowsills, spots behind bookcases and wardrobes, bathrooms, closets...
posted by halation at 10:06 AM on September 10, 2018


oh, sorry, just realised i neglected to say: depending on your symptoms, the following may help:

- keeping windows closed and using an air filter in your home (sometimes tricky in brooklyn, especially if you don't have central A/C)
- immediately changing your clothes and showering (wash your hair!) when you come in from the outdoors, so you're not covered in pollen -- keep your shoes and jackets in a closet or by the front door, just keep them away from your bedroom so you don't breathe the pollen in
- using a neti pot morning and evening

flonase (or its generic equivalent) is over-the-counter and is the only allergy medication i've had consistent success with for multiple allergy seasons. it takes a few weeks to work, but it has few side effects, and once it is working, you're good for the season. highly recommended.
posted by halation at 10:33 AM on September 10, 2018


Nthing ragweed, adding possibly mold and mildew.

(My roommate has been getting clobbered by this as well; I have strangely been exempt this year and thank all the gods)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:35 AM on September 10, 2018


Many allergy treatments are the same no matter what the cause
- Oral antihistamine (everyone reacts differently to the different formulations, you may need to try Zyrtec, Allegra, and Claritin to figure out which one makes you least sleepy)
- Nasal steroid spray (like Flonase)
- Saline nasal rinse (I use a NeilMed squeeze bottle instead of a Neti Pot, it's much easier)
- Air purifier in your bedroom (there are a milllion out there, I used The Wirecutter's guide)

I do encourage you to get an allergy test because it will help narrow down other treatments. I could have sworn I was allergic to something seasonal but it turns out it's *just* dust mites. For example, if you're allergic to pollen you probably need to keep the windows closed. If it's dust mites, you need to wash all your bedding way more often than you are right now, vaccuum with a HEPA filter, consider getting rid of your rugs, etc.
posted by radioamy at 12:30 PM on September 10, 2018


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