The stuffy nose. The watery eyes. The congested head that makes it so you can’t think straight! If you suffer from seasonal allergies, chances are you already know about ragweed. You may even know it’s what causes your allergy symptoms. But do you know the facts surrounding this common weed? And how to manage ragweed allergies so you can find relief and get on with the rest of your life?
What is ragweed?
Ragweed is a common weed found throughout the United States. Known for its yellow flowers and allergy-causing pollen, ragweed plants only survive for a single season. Yet in that short period, they raise havoc on allergy sufferers.
It’s estimated that one ragweed plant can produce up to a billion grains of pollen. If you live anywhere from the Midwest through the East Coast, you’ve likely seen this yellow dust gathering on everything from park benches to your phone screen. It’s this powder that causes ragweed allergies for you and about 15% of all Americans, making ragweed pollen allergy one of the most common allergies in the country.
Are there different types of ragweed?
Yes! Ragweed is a type of plant, not a specific species. Within the US, there are 17 different types of ragweed.
When is ragweed season?
Ragweed allergy season occurs in late summer and lasts through mid-fall once the plants’ flowers reach maturity. Most ragweed allergy sufferers experience their most severe symptoms around mid-September and they can last a month or more.
What are common ragweed allergy symptoms?
Ragweed pollen allergies symptoms can range from mild to severe and include:
- Irritated, itchy eyes
- Stuffy, runny nose
- Scratchy throat
- Hay fever
For those allergy sufferers who have an overlapping condition like asthma, a ragweed allergy can worsen your symptoms and create a bigger problem.
Can I take steps to minimize my symptoms?
Absolutely! Try these simple tips to reduce your ragweed allergy symptoms:
- Take medication to manage symptoms: Medication is your first line of defense against ragweed allergy symptoms. An over-the-counter antihistamine may minimize some of your allergy symptoms, while eye drops and nasal sprays can be used to treat specific problems.
- Use a pollen tracker: Whether it’s an app on your phone or a trusted website, tracking your local pollen count allows you to predict how severe your symptoms may be and prepare accordingly.
- Limit exposure: When pollen counts are high, stay inside as much as possible and keep windows and screen doors closed. If you must go outside, avoid the mornings when pollen counts are highest.
- Rinse it off: If you do spend time outside during allergy season, make sure to hop in the shower to rinse off any pollen when you come inside. Throw your clothes in the washer and store any coats or shoes in a closet. These actions reduce the risk of tracking pollen into your house and reduce your overall exposure.
- Consider immunotherapy: If your ragweed allergy symptoms are severe enough to have a significant impact on your life, it may be time to consider allergen immunotherapy, a clinically-proven therapy that involves a personalized treatment plan to offer long-term allergy relief.
Are you ready to find real allergy relief?
If ragweed pollen allergy is stopping you from living your best life, it may be time to find a solution that lasts. At Wyndly, we work with you to find the best allergy treatment options for you and your life. Start with our easy and convenient at-home allergy test (it even has free shipping!). Because we know life’s better without allergies.