What Are Ragweed Allergies
There are a number of allergens to be found outside in the grass and in the air. Dogs can be affected by them just like humans can. While we can usually treat ourselves, dogs arent quite as capable. Diagnosis of the correct allergy in your dog can be a long process but worth restoring his health. Symptoms are typically mild and treatment is about control of the symptoms. While some dogs may suffer more severe symptoms than others, they usually recover well and return to their normal selves with proper treatment or once the allergen is out of the environment.
Dogs can suffer from allergies just like people. If you believe your dog may be suffering from allergies, discuss it with your veterinarian in order to provide your pet with relief from the irritating symptoms.
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Signs Of Ragweed Allergy
Since many symptoms of ragweed allergies overlap with more general seasonal allergy symptoms like mold allergy symptoms, healthcare providers rely on signs to specifically diagnose all allergiesâincluding ragweed.
A sign of a ragweed allergy is a positive reaction in a controlled allergy test. Some allergy testing methods include:
- A Skin Prick Test
- An intradermal skin test
- A physician-supervised, pill-based exposure test
The first three test types must be completed in a healthcare providerâs office . Still, people who suspect they have seasonal allergies can complete indoor and outdoor allergy tests at home.
Do I Live In A Ragweed Season Hot Zone
Ragweed is found throughout North America, except for Alaska. The plant grows best in dry, sandy soil and full sunlight and is commonly found in rural areas, along roadsides, and abandoned lots. But ragweed can also be found in cities and suburbs.
While ragweed pollen is a problem across the United States, hot zones for the allergen include:
- The Great Plains
Ragweed season starts earlier and lasts longer in these regions than in other parts of the country. If you live in these hot zones, check pollen counts regularly. Avoid being outdoors when the pollen count is high.
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Ragweed Pollen & Climate Change
Its important to understand that ragweed allergy season isnt the same as it was several decades ago, though. In fact, they are becoming more ubiquitous just check out this image from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:
Science shows us that climate change is one of the reasons were seeing extended allergy seasons and higher pollen counts. With changing climates and temperatures shifts, allergens are able to creep into areas they didnt previously occupy. As a result, people living in areas where ragweed pollen wasnt much of a problem before are now finding themselves fighting allergies.
Additionally, because more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere actually nourishes plants, ragweed plants are now growing bigger and producing more pollen than ever before .
And if you think allergies are mainly in rural areas, think again. Ragweed actually thrives in urban and suburban environments. Temperatures tend to be higher in these places because buildings and pavement heat and then re-radiate it more slowly back than open spaces.
Living with a ragweed allergy, also commonly known as hay fever, can be miserable. Often beginning in mid-July and lasting into November in the U.S., ragweed allergy season is actually becoming more intense and longer due to climate change. Symptoms include running nose, itchy, watery, swollen eyes, sneezing, and even allergy-induced asthma.
How Can I Minimize The Impact Of Symptoms During A Ragweed Season
- Pre-medicate with an antihistamine and/or corticosteroid nasal spray 2 hours prior to allergen exposure. For eye allergies, use eye drops as needed.
- Avoid ragweed pollen. In late summer and early fall, levels are highest in the morning. Pollen can also surge on windy, warm days and after a thunderstorm or rainfall. Limit time outside when pollen counts are high usually in the mornings through early afternoons.
- Change clothes when coming inside.
- Wear a mask when doing outdoor activities and raking leaves. Find a mask designed to filter pollen and keep it from reaching your nasal passages.
- Monitor ragweed pollen counts. Airborne pollens can travel for several miles.
- Keep windows and doors shut at your home close windows of your car while driving.
- Take a shower, wash your hair and change your clothes after time outside.
- Dry laundry indoors rather than on a clothesline outdoors.
If you have allergic asthma that is affected by an allergy to ragweed, talk with your doctor about adjusting your Asthma Action Plan or treatment plan in the late summer and fall. Be sure to take your daily asthma medications as prescribed even during the summer when you may experience fewer symptoms and avoid exposure to ragweed when possible.
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Ragweed And Other Fall Allergens
Ragweed pollen is well known to cause seasonal allergic rhinitis or hayfever. Ragweed is a weed that produces very fine pollen that generally grows from August through November. Pollen counts for ragweed tend to be highest in mid-September, and those allergic should check pollen counts before planning their day and avoid peak pollen hours.
In general, weeds are the main plants pollinating during the time of year. However, we also see higher levels of mold spores. As leaves begin to fall later in the season, they can compost, keeping mold levels high well into October. Ragweed and other weeds produce pollen until the first frost of the season, usually lasting into October.
Ragweed pollen and mold can cause respiratory allergy symptoms in those who are allergic.
Ragweed Season Peaks In Mid
Ragweed starts pollinating as early as July in some states, especially states in the South. But for most of the country, it appears in August and peaks in mid-September. Ragweed pollen can stick around as late as November, depending on where you live.
If you are allergic to ragweed, learn when ragweed pollen starts in your location. Talk to a board-certified allergist about ways to prepare for the season before it begins to make it easier to manage your symptoms when the pollen peaks.
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What Are The Most Important Facts To Know About Ragweed Allergy
When an individual comes into contact with a potential allergen, such as pollen, their may see the foreign substance as harmful and activate the . refers to an adverse immune system reaction to , one of the most common causes of . allergy symptoms can include sneezing, mucus congestion in the throat and nose, a runny nose, and itchy eyes, nose, and throat. Around 10-20% of individuals living in the United States have an allergy to . A clinician may be able to diagnose allergy after reviewing the individuals medical history and conducting a physical examination. A referral to an allergist to perform allergy testing may also be recommended. There is no cure for allergy, so treatment is usually aimed at decreasing the symptoms. Certain medications, like , as well as nasal, oral, and ocular steroids, may be recommended or prescribed by a healthcare professional to help alleviate symptoms. In cases of severe allergy or for long-term management, sublingual immunotherapy or allergy shots may be needed.
Conquer Allergies And Sensitivities With At
Ragweed allergy symptoms can range from a mild annoyance to a significant health risk . Prevention is keyâwith the right tools, you can protect yourself from potential allergic reactions.
At Everlywell, weâre here to give you those tools. Our at-home allergy testing kit is simple, comprehensive, and convenient, and it can help you identify up to 40 common household and environmental allergens, like:
Ragweed Allergies And Children
Ragweed is an allergen that affects loads of people, and the worst most donât even realize theyâre allergic to it and will usually see these allergy symptoms as a cold that their child picked up from other kids at school. It comes at a time of year when weâre so busy doing other things that allergies are the last thing on our mind. Ragweed, like a large number of other allergens, causes cold-like symptoms like sneezing, congestion, and irritated eyes that parents attribute to their child being surrounded by more kids.
How to know if ragweed affects your child
When determining if your child is allergic to ragweed, itâs always best to get an allergy test. But if your son or daughter seems to have a cold every time September rolls around, itâs safe to say that ragweed is a major suspect.
How Are Fall Allergies Diagnosed
Its important to seek out a board-certified allergist not just to ensure youre taking the right approach in terms of treatment, but also so they can perform allergy testing to confirm what exactly youre allergic to and to rule out other potential illnesses. An allergist can also prescribe prescription medications if over-the-counter treatments havent proven to be effective enough.
A board-certified allergist will likely do either a skin prick test or standard blood test called an IgE test to detect antibodies for individual allergens. Your doctor may also do a breathing test to determine if your cough is due to asthma versus a post-nasal drip, or from some other cause.
Make sure your allergist is a board-certified allergy and immunology physician, as many unreliable tests exist and you don’t want to be diagnosed as allergic if youre not, says Dr. Parikh. You want to make sure you’re getting treated for the right condition, of course.
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What Causes Fall Allergies
The main difference between fall and other seasonal allergies are outdoor triggers like ragweed pollen, something that is only in the air in the fall , explains Purvi Parikh, MD, an allergist-immunologist with Allergy & Asthma Network in New York City.
Mold may also be present in the air in higher concentrations as leaves fall during this time, plus, it can grow on the piles of fallen leaves youll find outdoors.
What Is A Ragweed Pollen Allergy
The job of your immune system is to find foreign substances, like viruses and bacteria, and get rid of them. This response normally protects us from harmful diseases. People with allergies have immune systems that react when they come in contact with allergens. When you are allergic to ragweed pollen and inhale it from the air, rhinitis symptoms show up.
Seventeen types of ragweed grow in North America. Ragweed also belongs to a larger family of plants that can spread pollen by wind. These plants can also cause symptoms.
Members of this plant family include:
- Mucus in the throat
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How Is A Ragweed Allergy Diagnosed
Your doctor can usually diagnose a ragweed allergy. However, they may refer you to an allergist for allergy testing to confirm the diagnosis. An allergist is someone who specializes in diagnosing and treating allergies. The allergist will first ask you about your medical history and your symptoms, including when they started and how long they have persisted. Make sure to tell them if the symptoms are only present or get worse at certain times of the year.
The allergist will then perform a skin prick test to determine the specific allergen thats causing your symptoms. The skin prick procedure typically goes as follows:
- The allergist marks a section of your arm or back with a pen or marker.
- They then place drops of various types of allergens in different areas on the skin.
- The spots of skin containing these drops are lightly pricked or scratched with a needle. This may be slightly painful or uncomfortable, but it only takes a few minutes to complete.
- If youre allergic to any of the substances, youll develop redness, swelling, and itchiness at the site within 15 to 20 minutes. You might also see a raised, round area that looks like a hive.
- The allergist will go over the results with you. You might be allergic to more than one substance.
Having a reaction during a skin prick test doesnt always mean that youre allergic to the substance. The allergist will use the skin prick test results and their own medical evaluation to determine a diagnosis and a treatment plan.
What Is Ragweed Allergy
Ragweed is a weed with flowers that release pollen. If you are allergic to it, your immune system overreacts to this pollen as if it were a threat.
Ragweed pollen is the most common cause of fall hay fever. And like most causes of pollen allergy, ragweed pollen is spread through the air and is too small to be seen with the naked eye.
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Ragweed Pollen Can Travel Very Long Distances
Ragweed pollen grains are extremely light, which is why they can get scattered to vast distances by the wind. Ragweed pollen grains have been found up to four hundred miles away from the coast in the sea and up to two miles away in the air from the actual plant source.
Some types of ragweed pollen grains are even spread by insects instead of by wind and can travel away from their plant source. This means that when it comes to spreading to different places, ragweed knows no limits. Ragweed may even follow you home after it lands on you. This is why you should always try to limit the spread of ragweed pollen to your house during the allergy season. You can do so by:
- Leaving your shoes at your door and asking everyone in your house to do the same.
- Covering your hair when you go outside.
- Washing your hair and face after being outdoors.
- Changing the air filters in your home frequently.
- Keeping your windows closed.
- Avoiding wearing contact lenses to avoid pollen particles from building up on the lenses.
Why Are My Allergies So Bad In The Fall
Ragweed allergy is becoming worse each year which may make you feel sick during the Fall months. According to a study by Ziska et. al that compared the length of ragweed seasons from 1995 to 2015, those who suffer from pollen allergies are indeed suffering longer each year, and there seems to be no sign of it slowing down.
Is Ragweed Allergy Related To Food Allergies
Ragweed allergy is not the same as a food allergy, though the two conditions are often confused. A ragweed allergy is caused by an immune system reaction to ragweed pollen, while a food allergy is caused by an immune system reaction to a protein in certain foods.
However, those who suffer from ragweed allergies may also have adverse reactions to certain meals. This is known as oral allergy syndrome . It occurs when people eat specific uncooked fruits or veggies, causing mouth and throat itch.
Foods linked to ragweed allergies include:
Cross-reactive proteins found in these foods are similar to the ones in ragweed and responsible for these oral symptoms. If you suspect you suffer from OAS, you can lessen any tingling, burning, and/or itching sensations by peeling, cooking, or baking triggering foods. This action destroys the proteins and eliminates symptoms. If you have a severe allergic reaction to any food, seek emergency medical attention.
Natural Remedies For Grass And Ragweed Allergies
Each and every year, millions of people prepare for the onset of their seasonal allergies. They head to the drugstore and buy over-the-counter remedies to treat their runny noses, coughs, sneezes, and itchy eyes. But for a lot of people, these treatments can cause unwanted side effects and often just dont get the job done they still continue to suffer day in and day out from their allergies. For those who cant find relief, natural remedies are an excellent option. They are gentler and dont create as many side effects. To learn more about a few natural remedies to consider, read on.
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Diagnosing & Treating Fall Allergies
The first step of treatment is to find out to what you are allergic by getting allergy tested. Allergy skin testing is the gold standard. During the initial testing appointment appointment, our doctors take a medical history to use along with the skin test to diagnose an allergy. Once we confirm an allergy, our doctors can determine the best treatment options.
The skin test is a series of tiny scratches made on your back. The scratches are conducted with a small instrument similar to a plastic toothpick, which contains trace amounts of a single allergen, such as mold, specific pollens, dust mite, and animal dander. When the results are positive, a small reaction on the skin occurs, usually within 20 minutes. This reaction is generally a small bump, similar to a mosquito bite, and may cause some itchiness. A bump may indicate that you are allergic to that specific trigger, if the testing is inconclusive, additional testing may be completed on the patients arm.Once diagnosed, we recommend avoiding bothersome allergens. When thats not possible for substances like pollen or dust mites, then we can offer antihistamines and other prescription allergy medications to help manage your symptoms. We often recommend allergy immunotherapy, or allergy shots, for patients with moderate to severe allergies. Unlike antihistamines and nasal sprays, allergy shots treat the underlying cause of allergies and can help patients find longlasting relief.