Calling all Hay Fever (seasonal allergy) sufferers! Ragweed is on the way and it’s predicted to be one of the worst season in history. Thanks to recent rain and humidity, ragweed will soon be thriving. Right on queue, Dr. Paul Ratner reported ragweed showing up today on the latest allergy count. That means it’s time to arm yourself with knowledge (and Benadryl!) before the pollen really starts flying.
What is Ragweed?
This pesky weed lives in only one season, but that doesn’t stop it from sending tissue and antihistamine sales sky high. A single ragweed plant can release up to one billion grains of pollen. Its pollen is spread by the wind, and plants will continue to produce pollen until they are killed by colder weather or the first big frost of winter.
Why am I allergic to Ragweed?
Seasonal allergy sufferers are suffering not because of a weak immune system. Instead, it’s due to a sensitive one. If you find yourself sneezing, coughing and wiping your eyes during allergy season, it’s due to your immune system’s attempt to rid your body of allergens. Allergens, while harmless, are often confused for malicious intruders and the symptoms that follow are a result.
Did You Know?
Oral allergies, the itching or hives associated with eating foods you are allergic to, are often due to cross-reactivity with normal pollen allergies. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation, those who suffer from ragweed allergies are likely to also react to honeydew, cantaloupe, watermelon, zucchini and tomatoes. This is due to these fruits and vegetables containing proteins that are similar to those found in ragweed pollen.
If allergies make you miserable, your home can be your safe haven. In addition to keeping doors and windows closed as much as possible, you can use your air conditioner to your advantage. Start by making sure your air filter is not only clean, but also designed to trap allergens. This regular HVAC maintenance is an easy and inexpensive method of allergen filtration. It’s also good for your air conditioning system! Make sure to remove any pollens you may bring in from outside by showering off after a day outside, vacuuming regularly and dusting ceiling fans and furniture.