Facts, Prevention, and Relief for Kochia Allergies

Updated
Updated

Kochia is a bushy weed that can grow quite tall if conditions are right. Its bright reddish-purple coloring in Autumn earned it nicknames like burning bush and Mexican fireweed. This weed is fairly invasive and can be quite abundant in areas where growing conditions are ideal. This weed is also in the chenopod family, meaning if you’re allergic to kochia you could very well be allergic to similar weeds like Russian thistle.

If you have kochia allergies, you don’t have to suffer through a miserable allergy season. There are quite a few ways to manage your allergies and make allergy season a little easier. There are even treatment options available for long-term relief.

If you have kochia allergies, Wyndly is your solution. Our doctors can create a personalized treatment plan to help with your kochia allergies. Schedule an allergy consultation today to get started and read on to learn more about kochia allergies.

Common Symptoms

The severity and frequency of your symptoms may vary, as everyone’s immune system responds to allergens in different ways. However, there are some common symptoms you can expect to experience if you have kochia allergies. Such as:

  • Runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Headaches
  • Scratchy throat
  • Itchy eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Allergic rash
  • Aggravated symptoms if you have asthma

You may find that your allergy symptoms are worse on days with a high pollen count.

Where Is Kochia (Mexican Fireweed/Burning Bush) Found?

Kochia, also known as Mexican fireweed, burning bush, and summer cypress, is primarily found in the central and western United States. This is where the weed is most abundant, causing high concentrations of pollen during allergy season. Kochia is also sometimes observed in eastern states that provide good conditions.

U.S. Allergen Zone Map

When Is Kochia Pollen Allergy Season?

Kochia pollen allergy season occurs at the same time as many weed species – near the end of summer and through the beginning of fall. The season can begin as early as late July with August being the typical start for kochia allergy season. Pollen levels will peak in August and September before gradually tapering off. This allergy season can be particularly difficult if you’re allergic to other chenopods like Russian thistle and lamb’s quarter.

Foods to Avoid

As mentioned, kochia is a weed in the chenopod family, so if you’re allergic to one of these weeds, cross-reactivity can be possible. These chenopod weeds share very similar proteins to the proteins found in certain types of food. If you have kochia allergies, you may experience an allergic reaction known as oral allergy syndrome after consuming these related foods. Here are some of the goods you may want to avoid:

  • Melons
  • Citrus
  • Bananas
  • Spinach
  • Peaches
  • Pineapple

Oral allergy syndrome or OAS will cause your mouth, lips, or throat to feel itchy and tingly. Typically, this tingling or itching will subside quickly and without the need for any treatment or intervention. If you do have a severe allergic reaction to food of any kind, make sure to seek emergency medical attention immediately.

Testing and Diagnosis

When you have kochia allergies, you may notice your allergies act up most in fall. However, singling kochia out as the cause isn’t so easy, considering fall is a time that many other weed species are pollinating. It’s also possible that you could be allergic to multiple types of weeds. With that in mind, the easiest way to identify your allergies is through an allergy test. Wyndly makes allergy testing convenient with a painless at-home test. Buy your at-home test from Wyndly today to find out what is causing your allergy symptoms!

Here’s how different allergy testing options work.

Old-Fashioned Method: Skin Prick Test at Your Doctor’s Office

Skin prick testing requires you to go to the doctor to find out your allergen triggers. It’s often uncomfortable, and it takes time out of your day. You’ll go to the doctor’s office, and they’ll administer a test where they prick or scrape your skin with a needle tipped with different allergens, and then they’ll observe the areas they pricked for itchiness, redness, or swelling. All in all, it’s not a pleasant experience. Instead, you can save yourself time and pain by getting an at-home test.

Modern and Efficient At-Home Method

  1. Order Wyndly’s at-home allergy test. We ship our CLIA-certified test straight to your door.
  2. Take the allergy test and send it back to us. Just do a quick finger prick test to provide us with a blood sample and mail it back when you’re done.
  3. Receive your personal allergy profile. Our doctor will interpret your results, create an allergy profile, and walk you through your personalized treatment plan.

Unlike self-diagnosis, an allergy test can reveal the full breadth of your allergies. This way you know exactly what you’re allergic to and how you can treat your symptoms.

Treatment and Remedies

Allergy season isn’t a good experience for anyone, but you don’t have to just put up with your symptoms. There are various methods to manage and even treat your allergy symptoms. Here are some methods you may want to consider if you have kochia allergies:

Limiting Exposure

Limiting your exposure to kochia pollen is a good first step. Of course, kochia pollen is wind-pollinated, so it’s not always easy to avoid completely. Still, reducing your exposure at any level can help to reduce your symptoms. Here are some ways to avoid kochia pollen:

  • Look at the pollen count: Every morning, you can check the pollen count in your area using a website or app. If the pollen count is high, you may want to try and stay inside as much as possible. When you do go outside, wearing an N95 mask can help keep pollen out of your airways.
  • Avoid peak hours: Weed pollen will usually reach peak levels in the morning and early afternoon. It’s best to stick to the evening hours instead if you want to get some outdoor time.
  • Use a HEPA filter: Running your A/C instead of opening the windows will help keep pollen out of your home. It’s also a good idea to install a HEPA filter on your A/C system to help with this.
  • Clean the house: Make sure to clean often during allergy season. Using a HEPA filter vacuum and dusting your home with a wet rag can make a big difference when it comes to keeping pollen out of your home.
  • Take more showers: Rinsing off in the shower after being outside can get pollen off your skin and out of your hair. If you’re not home or if you don’t feel like showering, you should wash your hands and face as an alternative.
  • Get rid of kochia in your yard: If you have kochia in your yard, make sure to remove it. You can also mulch your landscaping with rocks and gravel to prevent further weed growth.

Medications

Limiting your exposure to allergens can be helpful, but it may not be enough to get you through allergy season. If you need additional relief, you may want to try taking allergy medications. Here are some options:

  • Over-the-counter: Over-the-counter allergy medications are a common way to find short-term relief from allergy symptoms. They’re widely available and generally effective for most individuals. Here are some you may want to try:
    • Antihistamines: Antihistamines inhibit histamine production, providing relief from a variety of common allergy symptoms.
    • Nasal sprays: Nasal sprays reduce swelling and inflammation in the nasal passages, providing relief from runny and stuffy nose symptoms.
    • Eye drops: If you have itchy or watery eyes, try using eye drops to find relief.
  • Prescription: If OTC allergy medications aren’t providing relief, you may want to consider prescription medications. You’ll need to consult your doctor to see if this is the right option for you.

Sublingual Immunotherapy

If you want to treat your allergy symptoms at their source, you should try allergy immunotherapy. Sublingual immunotherapy is a safe and effective allergy treatment that uses drops or tablets to introduce small doses of an allergen to your system. Over time, this teaches your immune system to ignore or tolerate these substances, instead of causing an allergic reaction. Sublingual immunotherapy is as effective as allergy shots but avoids the needles, side effects, and doctor’s visits.

Get Long-Term Relief With Wyndly

If you want to find long-term relief from your kochia allergies, Wyndly can help. Our doctors will create a personalized treatment plan based on your allergy profile and history.

Schedule your allergy consultation with Wyndly today!

Kochia FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about kochia:

Can I move to a state without kochia?

Kochia is less common in eastern states, but generally, it’s easier to manage or treat your allergies than move to another state.

Can I remove kochia from your yard?

It’s recommended to remove nearby kochia to reduce the pollen around your home, but it won’t be a cure-all solution. The airborne pollen from kochia can travel a good distance.

When is the peak of kochia allergy season?

Kochia pollen allergies will peak in August and September.

Is kochia cross-reactive with other weeds?

Kochia is cross-reactive with other chenopods like Russian thistle and lamb’s quarter.

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