Nightly News | September 20, 2012
>>> topping our health news tonight, the millions of americans who have no allergy history, who have never suffered before, but are suffering this season, right now. there is a reason for it. we get more tonight from our chief medical editor, dr. nancy snyderman .
>> i suggest just don't breathe by friday.
>> reporter: just two days until fall, with cold and flu seasons around the corner, seasonal allergies are knocking people for a loop. this map shows the ragweed and pollen. this 12-year-old is on multiple medications for his allergies, but still suffering severe symptoms.
>> itchy nose, watery eyes, itchy eyes.
>> reporter: at the allergy clinic in ft. worth, the doctor says this is especially bad for all ages.
>> i have newly diagnosed patients, 70 or 80, also children, it can be anyone.
>> reporter: some say the weather could be the cause.
>> a very mild winter, very hot, dry summer , leading to the pollen that we're seeing.
>> reporter: but pollen is not the only thing to blame. wildfires throughout the western united states this summer created a listenlingering haze. this shows fires burning in idaho, montana, elsewhere in the west. they're causing air quality alerts in many areas.
>> so tell me a little bit about how you're feeling.
>> with the season, my allergies they're pretty bad.
>> they tell me they're wanting to breathe again, can't wait until winter.
>> reporter: the shots can help, but doctors say they're not always the best oppositions, but those who don't want to take medication, there are other ways. clean your eye glasses , keep windows closed in the house and in the car and keep pets clean. groom or bathe them frequently so they don't track pollen inside the house. doctors say relief from the allergies and all the symptoms will come when the first frost hits, when the weeds settle down, and dampen the pollen, as a matter of fact the smoke that is in the air. but the real concern is if the cold snap doesn't come soon and we have a warm winter, or that could be delayed. our chief correspondent, ann thompson says it is just the case. in fact, brian, we may be in for a few warm months, not boding well for people.
>> they're talking about people in their 80s, 90s, no symptoms before, and suffering now.
>> reporter: and i think it is a couple of things, our immune systems are turning on like they never have before. our environment is so much more complex. and whether or not you believe in global warming , there has been a shift. and our bodies are part of the environment, and they are responding accordingly. so 70 and 80-year-olds who never had the symptoms before, they're complaining of it now.
>> all right, dr. snyderman, thank you, as always.