Individuals with ragweed allergy might not know the reason behind their sniffles and sneezing episodes, but they certainly know when. Take note that ragweed allergy can trigger hard to ignore symptoms.
Pollination season of ragweed
The autumn season brings about cool weather and changing color of the trees. It is also the season that is dreaded by those who have allergies especially with the manifestation of symptoms such as sneezing episodes and nasal congestion among those who have ragweed allergy.
Ragweed pollen is generated by the plant usually between August and October which is one of the common causes of hay fever symptoms during the fall season.
Peak pollen count
The pollen of the plant is distributed via the air and cannot be seen by the naked eye. The pollen count is highest during the morning hours, during windy days and right after a rainstorm when the plant is drying out.
Usual location of ragweed
It is important to note that ragweed can grow almost anywhere, particularly in fields, vacant lots and along the side of roads and highways. This weed is found in various parts of the world.
What are the symptoms of ragweed allergy?
Ragweed allergy is also similar to other pollen allergies which typically include symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis, allergic rhinitis and even allergic asthma. The symptoms triggered by the ragweed pollen are expected to occur during August and September and last up to October or November depending on the climate of the area.
Connection of ragweed and food allergy
Take note that ragweed allergy can be linked to certain food allergies since the plant possesses proteins similar to certain fruits such as cantaloupe, watermelon, cucumbers, honeydew melon and bananas.
Individuals with ragweed allergy will experience itchiness and tingling of the throat and mouth after eating these fresh fruits particularly during the ragweed season. The condition is called as oral allergy syndrome.
Treatment of ragweed allergy
When managing the symptoms of ragweed allergy, allergy drops and allergy shots are effective. If in doubt, the individual should consult an allergist so that the suitable treatment can be started.
How to avoid exposure to ragweed pollen
Unlike with the indoor allergens such as animal dander or dust mites, it is difficult to avoid exposure to ragweed pollen since it is present in the outdoor air. Luckily, there are useful tips to help minimize exposure to the pollen.
- Always keep the windows and doors closed during the peak pollen time to prevent the pollen from entering the house.
- If possible, minimize early morning activity when the pollen count is high usually between 5-10 AM.
- Keep the windows of the car closed when travelling.
- It is recommended to stay indoors when the pollen count is high. During windy days, it is also best to stay inside since the pollen count might be high in the air.
- When planning a vacation, choose a pollen-free area such as the beach or an ocean cruise during the height of the pollen season.
- Clothing and bedding should be machine-dried since pollen might gather in the laundry if it is hung outside to dry.