In mid to late summer, common pollen travels through the air, resulting in many people suffering from an allergic reaction that can spark hay fever. This pesky pollen is ragweed. There are seventeen species of ragweed in the United States, and nearly all states have ragweed.
The season begins in mid- to late July and can go as long as November with the peaks in September. The allergy you may feel is your body’s response to the pollen that is released into the air, and one plant can release billions of pollen and has been found several miles into the atmosphere and even out to sea.
The symptoms are mainly uniform, with the exception to those who have a high allergy to it that causes asthma reactions.
To determine if you have an allergy to ragweed, you will need to consult an allergist for a skin test. Depending on your medical history and the severity of symptoms, your doctor may recommend being tested for all allergies to rule out any other allergies you may have.
Things You Can Do at Home
If you have allergies, it is best to avoid the peak times when the pollen is at its peak such as staying indoors in the mornings until after 10 a.m., and in the evenings after 6 p.m. Leave windows and doors closed, and do not dry your clothes outdoors. Shower after you come in, wash your bedding frequently and even wipe your pet down after coming back inside. If you have a severe allergy to ragweed and have to be outside, wear a mask.
Vitamin C is always a go-to for illness and even allergies. Your body goes to hard work fighting the foreign bodies in your system, such as pollen. Several reactions occur, and one of those reactions is that your immune system is taxed and needs all the support it can help. Allergies cause inflammation in the body such as a stuffy nose; however you will have more inflammation in your body that you do not notice. If you are not taking any Vitamin C, make sure you begin a multi-vitamin and ask your doctor about taking an additional Vitamin C supplement during times your immune system may work harder.
Your food options can help you, too. Greens such as bell peppers, oranges, grapefruit, jalapenos, broccoli all contain high levels of vitamin C. Just as much as you need to focus on what to eat; it is best to avoid sugary foods and drinks. Sugar creates additional inflammation in the body.
If over-the-counter medications are not working, your doctor can prescribe a medicine that can ease your symptoms. You can also go to any pharmacy for an over-the-counter nasal spray. Your doctor can order an allergy test to better determine the cause of your allergies with treatment options such as shots, sublingual drops, and other treatment regimens. If you believe you may have an allergy to ragweed or other environmental allergies, make an appointment with your ear nose & throat doctor today.