Facts, Prevention, and Relief for Pigweed Allergies

Updated
Updated

Pigweed is a very common plant from the amaranth family of weeds. It can be found throughout the United States, so it’s a hard allergen to avoid. Since pigweed is very prevalent in the fall, it can make this season miserable for some allergy sufferers.

If you’re dealing with pigweed allergies, you don’t have to just put up with your symptoms. There are ways to manage and even treat your pigweed allergies. Wyndly can help.

If you’re looking to rid yourself of pigweed allergies and live an allergy-free life, schedule an allergy consultation with Wyndly to get your personalized allergy treatment plan. Read on to learn more about pigweed allergies.

Common Symptoms

Pigweed allergies are very similar to other seasonal allergies. If you’re allergic to pigweed, you can expect to experience one or more of the following symptoms.

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

If you have pigweed allergies, you’ll notice your symptoms will typically begin near the end of summer and go on through the fall. You’ll especially notice your symptoms pick up if the pollen count is high.

Where Is Pigweed Found?

Pigweed is a very common weed. It can be found in nearly every region of the United States. Pigweed is especially prevalent in rural areas and can be found in pastures, fields, backyards, gardens, and roadsides. Pigweed pollen can travel for miles, making it pretty difficult to avoid, regardless of where you live.

When Is Pigweed Allergy Season?

Pigweed allergy season coincides with the allergy season of many other types of weeds, meaning you can expect pigweed allergy season to begin in the late summer and last until the first frost of the year. Typically, pigweed will start releasing pollen in mid-August and peak in September. In warmer climates, pigweed allergy season may extend a little past early November.

During pigweed pollen allergy season, you should take extra care to limit exposure and manage your symptoms.

Foods to Avoid

There are certain proteins in pigweed pollen that are similar to the proteins found in various foods. This can cause oral allergy syndrome (OAS) in some allergy sufferers.

If you have a pigweed allergy, you may get OAS after consuming the following foods:

  • Melons
  • Citrus
  • Bananas
  • Tomatoes
  • Hazelnuts
  • Peanuts
  • Persimmons
  • Zucchini
  • Pineapple

If you have a severe reaction after eating any food, seek immediate emergency medical attention.

Testing and Diagnosis

Weed pollen allergy season often intersects with grass allergy season and the allergy season for certain trees. There are also a variety of weed species, so it can be tough to determine which specific weed is causing your symptoms. With allergy testing, you can find out if pigweed is the true culprit for your allergies, along with any other seasonal allergies you may have. Wyndly makes allergy testing convenient with our at-home allergy test. Order your at-home allergy test today to learn about your allergies.

Let’s explore 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 determine your allergen triggers. It’s often uncomfortable, and it takes time out of your day. You’ll go to the doctor’s office, 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 of doing this, 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 a 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

    If you have pigweed allergies, you have several options for managing and treating your symptoms. Let’s take a look at some of these methods.

    Limiting Exposure

    Though it can sometimes be impossible to avoid pigweed allergies altogether, there are ways to limit your exposure. Here are some methods to limit pigweed pollen exposure.

    • Keep an eye on the pollen count: The concentration of pollen in the air might be higher on certain days. You can check local weather websites or apps to find out the pollen count for the day. On high pollen count days, try to stay indoors or wear a dust mask when going outside.
    • Watch out for peak hours: Pollen tends to peak in the morning hours, so outside time is best reserved for the evening or late afternoon.
    • Keep your home clean: A clean home can reduce the amount of pollen you live with. Vacuum frequently with a HEPA filter vacuum and dust with a wet rag. This can make a big dent in your indoor pollen exposure.
    • Do laundry often: Pollen can stick to your clothes, so be sure to do laundry frequently.
    • Wash up: After being outside, it’s good to take a shower to get pollen out of your hair and off your skin. At the very least, you should wash your hands and face well when you come in.
    • Pull weeds: You can reduce pollen around your home by pulling pigweeds in your yard. Just be sure to wear gloves, and mask up when you do it.
    • Keep windows closed: Open windows can let pollen in, so keep them closed during the weed pollen season and use air conditioning instead. It’s even better if you can use A/C with a HEPA filter.
    • Mulch landscaping with rocks or gravel: Rocks and gravel can make it more difficult for weeds to grow in your landscaping.
    • Take shoes off when you come inside: Your shoes can easily track in pollen. Be sure to take them off when you come in the door.

    Medications

    While limiting your exposure can certainly be helpful, it often isn’t enough to provide you with complete relief from your symptoms. If you’re looking to manage your symptoms further, there are several medication options you can consider.

    • Over-the-counter medications: OTC allergy meds are effective at temporarily relieving symptoms for most people and are widely available. Here are some OTC meds you may find effective:
      • Antihistamines: Antihistamines temporarily block the production of histamine, relieving a variety of common allergy symptoms.
      • Nasal sprays: Nasal sprays can reduce the inflammation and swelling in your nasal passages, decreasing runny and stuffy nose symptoms.
      • Eye drops: Eye drops can flush pollen from your eyes, relieving itchy and red eye symptoms.
    • Prescription: You can consult your doctor about potential prescription options when OTC allergy medications aren’t working, but these aren’t a long-term solution.

    Sublingual Immunotherapy

    If you want to treat your symptoms at the source and find lifelong relief, consider sublingual immunotherapy. Sublingual immunotherapy is an effective treatment that retrains your immune system to ignore harmless allergen substances by introducing small, gradually increasing doses to your system over time. Unlike allergy shots, sublingual immunotherapy doesn’t require painful needles or a doctor’s visit to administer. You can self-administer them painlessly in your own home.

    Get Long-Term Relief With Wyndly

    If you’re looking for long-term relief from your allergies, Wyndly can help. With Wyndly, you get personalized physician care to address your specific allergies. Schedule your allergy consultation today to start your journey to allergy symptom relief.

    Pigweed FAQs

    Here are some frequently asked questions about pigweed allergies:

    Will removing the pigweed from my yard rid me of allergies?

    Removing pigweed from your yard may reduce the amount of pigweed pollen in and around your home, but keep in mind that pigweed can still travel for miles, so you can still get exposed when you’re outside even if you’ve managed to remove all pigweed plants in your immediate vicinity.

    Is pigweed the most common weed allergy?

    While pigweed is a very allergenic species, ragweed is the most allergenic and widespread weed.

    Will a mask help with pigweed allergies?

    An N95 mask can help prevent pollen from getting in your nose and mouth. You can also wear sunglasses and a hat to keep pollen from getting in your eyes and your hair.

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