Where Is Ragweed Pollen Commonly Found
Ragweed grows just about anywhere, especially in fields, along the side of highways, and in vacant lots.
There are 17 species of ragweed that grow in North America.
The two main types are:
- Common ragweed looks like a fern and is often found in yards and gardens. It typically grows to about 3 or 4 feet.
- Giant ragweed are much taller and have lobes of leaves.
Ragweed is especially common in the Midwestern region and along the East Coast of the United States, but it can even be found in Hawaii and many other parts of the world, including Europe.
What Are Ragweed Allergy Symptoms
If youre wondering what to expect during that season, symptoms of a ragweed allergy are similar to any other seasonal allergy symptoms. Most commonly, people deal with:
- Itchy or irritated eyes
- Scratchy throat
Typically, the symptoms are more annoying than they are totally debilitating. But, for people who have asthma, allergy season can kick those symptoms up a notchleading to more coughing and wheezing.
Talking About The Weather
What’s the spring allergy outlook where you live? Will sudden temperature changes trigger an asthma flare? Weather can play a key role in asthma and allergy symptoms and flu transmission. We partnered with Weather Trends International to provide weather forecasting and analysis for people with asthma and allergies.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Allergies
Allergy symptoms vary depending on the type of allergens.
Allergic rhinitis , for instance, is associated with the following symptoms:
- Itchy eyes, nose, and throat
- Tearing eyes
An allergic food reaction may share some of the above symptoms, but it can also cause:
- Diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting
- Hives, eczema, or itchy skin
- Anaphylaxis, in which a narrowing of the airways makes it difficult or even impossible to breathe
A skin allergy or insect bite can cause the following at the site:
The symptoms of a drug allergy may include:
What Is A Ragweed Allergy
Ragweed allergies are considered to be part of seasonal allergic rhinitis, commonly known as “hay fever.” Much like other pollen allergies that fall under this banner, your body reacts poorly when the ragweed plant’s pollen enters your immune system through your nose, ears, or mouth.
While most pollen allergies are triggered in the springtime, those with a particular sensitivity to ragweed need to be vigilant not only in the spring, but during the late summer into fall when ragweed pollen is particularly prevalent.
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Will My Mask For Covid
It depends on the type of mask you use. Any facial covering will help to an extent, but an N95 mask will be the most effective at filtering out allergens. Cloth masks should be washed regularly, as they can easily collect ragweed pollen just like your clothes only worse because its right next to your mouth, eyes and nose.
Why Does Ragweed Pollen Cause Allergic Reactions
People with allergies might have more sensitive immune systems that fight allergens, thinking theyre harmful foreign substances, such as viruses or bacteria. When you have a ragweed allergy and breathe in the pollen, your body defends itself against the invader , and the reaction leads to allergy symptoms.
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Recovery Of Ragweed Allergies In Dogs
Once your dog is successfully diagnosed with an allergy, he will be easier to treat. Without knowing the cause of the symptoms, it is impossible to know what to keep him away from or how to help him. Once you know the allergen, you can begin to successfully treat your dog. The recovery process can be very time consuming and discouraging, but once you find the source, it will be worth the effort. In addition, measures such as wiping down your pet’s fur when he comes indoors, limiting his outdoor exposure on days where the allergy alerts are high, and working together with your veterinarian will be important.
Do I Live In A Ragweed Season Hot Zone
Ragweeds grow in all of the United States, except for Alaska, but they tend to proliferate the most in the East and Midwest. The severity of ragweed allergy season depends on a combination of weather conditions and specific geographic pollen levels. In windier and warmer areas, like Wisconsin or Kansas, ragweed pollen carries more easily and causes widespread symptoms. As with other allergens, rain and lower temperatures slow down the spread of pollen through the air. Check pollen levels in your area through weather reports or sign up for email alerts through the National Allergy Bureau.
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What Can Be Done To Alleviate My Symptoms
1. Relief from allergies can come in a variety of forms including alleviating symptoms temporarily and prevention. One means is through products such as Allergy Relief that contains various members of plants from a variety of families. Exposure to these can help to modulate the immune response, educating the body against an inappropriate reaction to allergens such as pollen.
What Are The Common Symptoms Of Ragweed Allergies
- itchy, watery eyes
- sinus pressure, which may cause facial pain
- swollen, bluish-colored skin beneath the eyes
- poor sleep quality
Many people who live with a ragweed allergy also experience allergic reactions to other foods. The proteins in some types of produce are like the proteins found in certain pollens. These proteins confuse the immune system and cause an allergic reaction. Which makes existing symptoms worse. One of the key things to avoid is chamomile tea. Its a popular beverage, but for people suffering from ragweed allergies, chamomile tea can increase the severity of allergy symptoms including sneezing, runny nose, headaches, and irritated eyes.
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Nasal All Clear X Drops
IAFA Nasal All Clear X Drop is the ultimate solution for upper respiratory tract infections. The inflammation caused by ragweed allergy can be natural by using these drops. Nasal All Clear X Drops help in alleviating sinus and nasal blockage due to allergic responses. It strengthens the sense organs as well. Ingredients of Nasal All Clear X Drops are: Jyotishmati , Maricha , Pippali , Vidanga , Shigru , Haridra , Nagarmotha , Bruhati , Sariva , Yashtimadhu and Til Tailum .
Method of Usage:
- Adults: 4-5 drops, twice daily.
- Children up to 10 years: 1-3 drops, once daily.
Everything You Need To Know About Ragweed Allergies This Fall
Fall allergies can be a pain when you’re trying to enjoy the changing weather. Prepare for ragweed below.
Pollen sucks. Its existence is essential to life itself, but its an absolute menace to allergy-afflicted individuals throughout the spring . . . and the fall.
Wait, and the fall?
Thats like half the seasons. I didnt sign up for that.
Well, the summer as well. Thats when grass pollen comes out.
. . .
So if spring is tree pollen and summer is grass pollen, what is fall pollen? Bush pollen?
Ragweed, mostly. Ragweed pollen is public enemy number one in the fall for allergy sufferers.
The good news is that you arent allergic to all pollen because you are allergic to one type of pollen. Just because tree pollen, the yellow dust that coats entire cities in the spring, causes you to sneeze and itch, doesnt necessarily mean ragweed is going to do the same.
Tree pollen in the early months of the year is generally a more prominent allergen. Thats why springtime gets the most hubbub when talking about allergies. Despite this, a larger number of Americans actually suffer from a fall pollen allergy than a spring one.
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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 Is It Different Than Tree Pollen
Its not, really. There are a few minor characteristics that are different, such as oak tree pollen being able to remain suspended in the air longer than ragweed. Ragweed produces a lot fewer individual pollen grains per plant. Overall, its a slightly less potent allergen than oak pollen and other tree pollens in the spring, but still pretty obnoxious if youre afflicted with an intolerance. It also doesnt cover the ground in a thick yellow dust, making it a less common talking point in the world of pollen allergies because of the lack of visual presence. Just like tree pollen though, it still sucks.
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Wearing A Mask And Sunglasses During Ragweed Season May Reduce The Pollens Effects
One thing we learned from the COVID-19 pandemic is that masks have multiple benefits. Not only can they help reduce the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, but they can reduce your exposure to ragweed pollen too. Wearing a mask when outside can prevent pollen particles from entering your nose and lungs, lowering your chance of having symptoms.
Sunglasses can protect your eyes from ragweed pollen too. Pollen can be irritating and may cause watery and itchy eyes. Also consider a hat to keep the pollen out of your hair.
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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Limit Contact With Ragweed
Avoiding ragweed may be impossible. But there are ways to limit your exposure — and lower your risk of symptoms.
During ragweed season you should:
Track pollen counts. Check them in the newspaper or on the web. Stay inside when they’re high.
Avoid peak ragweed hours. Limit your time outside between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Counts are lower in the early morning and late afternoon.
Keep windows closed. At home and in the car, donât open the windows. Using central air conditioning with a HEPA filter will keep you cool and help filter out pollen.
Watch out for food triggers. Eating foods that contain similar proteins to ragweed pollen proteins can worsen symptoms. Possible triggers are:
- Sunflower seeds
- Chamomile tea
Don’t dry laundry outside. It will pick up ragweed pollen. Dry your laundry in a dryer.
Things You May Not Know About Ragweed Pollen Allergy
If you have a ragweed pollen allergy, it helps to know what you are up against. If you live in the U.S., you probably feel the effects of ragweed pollen in the late summer and fall. Here are some things you may not know about ragweed.
Diagnosis Of Ragweed Allergy
The allergist will ask you about your medical history, the symptoms you’re experiencing, and their timing. They may also perform skin or blood tests to confirm a ragweed allergy or to diagnose other allergies.
Skin prick tests are common skin tests that involve pricking the skin with a small amount of ragweed pollen and other common allergens to see which ones cause a reaction.
Blood tests look for antibodies or the actions of antibodies within a blood sample.
When Its Time To See An Allergist
Many people try to treat their allergy symptoms with over-the-counter medicines, and thats fine if symptoms are mild and not interfering with daily life. But Dr. Wasserbauer says its worthwhile to consult an allergy specialist even if symptoms are mild.
The best way to prevent allergy symptoms is to know what youre allergic to, she says. Once you know, the best treatment is to avoid the thing causing the allergy. Once you know, you can take steps to lessen the chance of having an allergic reaction.
For example, you might experience allergy symptoms in the fall, but it could be due to ragweed, grasses or trees or something else. Knowing what exactly you are allergic to can help you to avoid symptoms.
Left untreated, allergies can lead to asthma, hives, and other conditions.
Then it becomes a long, ongoing problem with shots, immunotherapy or other therapies to change the body to non-allergenic, Dr. Wasserbauer says. We want to prevent the morbidities that come along with advanced allergies.
If you decide to see an allergist, its important to choose a board-certified allergist, Dr. Wasserbauer says.
Many medical conditions look like an allergy, she says. We want to make sure we are not missing something that mimics an allergy. If you go to someone who is trained with that, you have a better chance of getting a correct diagnosis.
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How Long Does Ragweed Pollen Season Last
Ragweed season peaks in mid-September and ends at the first frost. Rising temperatures mean the first frost occurs later and later each year, resulting in a longer lasting allergy season. Since ragweed season lasts anywhere from six to 10 weeks, Curist recommends stocking up on three months worth of allergy treatment in advance of the season.
Take The Right Medications Before Your Allergy Season
Modern medicine can give you some relief, and theres a whole range of medications that can help you out.
For starters, youll want to look into an antihistamine. Its a medication that blocks the effects of histamine in your body . Antihistamines are most effective when you take them ahead of your typical allergy season. So, if ragweed is your trigger, youll want to start with an antihistamine in July or August.
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Your veterinarian might recommend immunomodulatory medications. These are available either as a daily pill or an injection given every 4-10 weeks . Along with these, antibiotics or antifungal medicines are often required to treat the skin infections that result from allergies.
At-Home Treatment Options and Helpful Hints
Your Immune System May Mistake Other Plants And Food For Ragweed
There are other plants that are related to ragweed. They may cause allergy symptoms as well. Avoid planting sunflowers, sage, burweed marsh elder, rabbit brush, mugwort, groundsel bush, and eupatorium near your home.
If you have a condition called oral allergy syndrome , your mouth may itch or tingle when you eat certain foods. This is because the pollen is similar to the proteins in some foods, so your body cant tell the difference. This is called cross-reactivity.
Food such as cantaloupes, bananas, watermelon, and sunflower seeds may cause symptoms in some people who have a ragweed allergy.
Rarely, OAS can trigger anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction, so it is important to know if you have OAS or a food allergy and how to treat it. Some of the symptoms of OAS and anaphylaxis may be similar. If you have symptoms when eating foods, talk with an allergist.
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How To Treat Ragweed Allergy
Although a ragweed allergy cannot be cured, over-the-counter and prescription medications can help you successfully reduce and manage symptoms.
Immunotherapyâwhich exposes you to very small amounts of ragweed over time to gradually decrease your immune system’s reactivity to itâis another option. It may be considered if other medications don’t bring you relief.
Speak to an allergist about which treatments or combination of treatments might be best for you.
Immunotherapy May Provide Relief
If you are allergic to ragweed pollen, there are options for treatment. Many of them are available over the counter.
- Nasal corticosteroids These nasal sprays treat nasal inflammation, reduce symptoms and congestion, and block allergic reactions. They are the most effective for nasal symptoms and have few side effects.
- Antihistamines They work by reducing your runny nose, sneezing, and itching in your eyes and sinuses. Choose non-drowsy options.
- Leukotriene inhibitors This medicine blocks chemicals your body releases when you have an allergic reaction.
- Cromolyn sodium This nasal spray blocks chemicals that cause allergy symptoms, like histamine and leukotrienes.
If over-the-counter allergy medicine doesnt relieve your allergy symptoms, talk to a board-certified allergist about other treatment options. It is especially important for you to seek treatment if you have allergic asthma and ragweed pollen is a trigger for you.
Many people benefit from immunotherapy. This can come in the form of allergy shots or sublingual immunotherapy .
With allergy shots, your doctor gives you injections of allergens in an increasing dose over time. You gradually become less sensitive to that allergen.
With SLIT, you take a small dose of an allergen under your tongue. You also gradually become less sensitive to that allergen. Currently, SLIT is available for ragweed and dust mite allergies.
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