Tormented by sneezing and itchy eyes during summer? Do you dread the inevitable arrival of those months ending in “ber” ? As if having to prepare for tropical storms and hurricane threats wasn’t enough, if you are among those 36 million Americans with seasonal allergies, now you also must take measures to protect yourself from pollen!
Watery and swollen eyes, runny nose, sneezing, itchy throat…this is commonly known as hay fever, or as our doctors prefer to call it – seasonal allergic rhinitis. In some cases, these can develop into more serious asthma symptoms such as: coughing, wheezing and trouble breathing.
Ragweed is a type of weed common almost everywhere in the United States and its pollen can travel quite far. This means you don’t need to live out in the country to experience the effects of it; Even people who live in the bustling cities can suffer from a ragweed allergy.
The season usually starts during the last half of summer and lingers into the fall as late as into November. Ragweed rates normally peak sometime in mid-September. This means that after Labor Day your symptoms may intensify suddenly and may still continue through Halloween; At times even beyond due to global warming.
How to Prevent Fall Allergies
- Pay attention to the weather. Warm, windy days tend to have more pollen in the air, so staying indoors can help you feel better.
- Check our daily pollen count on our website’s Home Page.
- Plan outside activities for afternoons when the pollen counts are often lower than any other time of day.
- After spending time outside, clean your hair and change clothing to wash away any allergens.
- Keep your car and house windows closed to prevent allergens from coming in; Run your air conditioner to help clean the air.
- Take allergy medicine early rather than waiting until symptoms start to kick in.
- Let someone else handle your yard work and stay indoors during this time. Mold thrives in piles of leaves and can cause you to itch and sneeze.
- If you must spend time in your yard, wear a mask when pollen and mold spores are out in full force.
- Remove indoor plants from your home (or at least keep them to a minimum), as the soil can be a breeding ground for mold.
Who gets ragweed allergy?
Generally, whoever is already allergic to other types of pollens or who has a family history. Additionally, it is also commonly seen in people who are allergic to other environmental allergens such as: dust, molds and pet dander.