The cooler weather is upon us, the leaves are changing color, and pumpkins are adorning our front steps. Fall is a time of year that many people look forward to after a hot, sticky summer. However, if you’re one of the estimated 26 percent of Americans who suffer from allergies to ragweed, you may not be so psyched about Autumn knocking on your door.
What is Ragweed?
Ragweed is a soft-stemmed weed, a member of the daisy family in fact, that grows all over the United States. There are over 17 species of ragweed and its growth peaks in mid-September, ending with the first frost. Ragweed plants release millions of grains of pollen that are incredibly light and float easily and quickly, making it nearly impossible to avoid.
Do You Have an Allergy to Ragweed?
A ragweed allergy presents similarly to other seasonal allergies. The most common symptoms are sneezing, runny nose, congestion, headaches, itchy throat and irritated eyes. Don’t disregard these symptoms even if you’ve never suffered from seasonal allergies before. If you’re experiencing them at the right time of year, it is quite possible that you may have developed an allergy to ragweed.
How Can You Manage an Allergy to Ragweed?
There are several ways that you can manage an allergy to ragweed:
- Fall pollen counts are generally highest in the morning so try to limit the amount of time spent outside during this time of day
- Keep you house and car windows closed in order to keep pollen out
- Change your clothes after being outside and wash your hands after petting any animals
- Dust and vacuum regularly
What Can You Do to Treat an Allergy to Ragweed?
For milder cases, an over the counter eye drop, nasal spray or oral medication containing an antihistamine might do the trick. For more severe cases, you may want to consider seeing an allergist and discussing prescription medication or allergy shots.
As always, Plymouth Ear, Nose and Throat is always available to answer any questions and guide you in the right direction. Give us a call at 508-746-8977 to schedule an appointment!