Everything You Need To Know About Ragweed Allergies

Roxboro integrative medicine

Photo: Melissa McMasters, Flickr Creative Commons

When you think of allergy season, you probably imagine spring flowers sending up clouds of pollen in the months of April and May. You’re not wrong! Early spring is one of the most troublesome times for the millions who suffer from seasonal allergies.

But many others know that August through November present their own special allergy challenge: ragweed season. If you find yourself with cold-like symptoms starting in the second week of August through winter’s first freeze, consider getting tested for ragweed allergies!

In the meantime, you can read up on everything you need to know about ragweed allergies, courtesy of the allergy specialists at Lyceum Physical Medicine.

What is ragweed?

Ragweed is a weed prevalent in the east and midwest of the United States. It goes into bloom from August through November, spewing pollen until the cold weather sets in. The highest levels of ragweed pollen strike in the middle of September, but you should check pollen counts on your local news station to determine your area’s peak.

What are ragweed allergy symptoms?

Swollen eyelids, itchy eyes and throat, sneezing, and hives are all symptoms of ragweed allergies. In more severe cases, ragweed pollen can elicit asthma symptoms like wheezing, coughing, and troubled breathing. Combined, ragweed allergy symptoms are referred to as “hay fever.”

How are ragweed allergies diagnosed?

An allergy specialist can assess your medical history and perform blood and/or skin tests. (Skin testing involves receiving a tiny prick with the allergen, and the skin’s reaction reveals an allergic response.)

How are ragweed allergies treated?

Allergy shots are a popular treatment because they take the punch of out allergy symptoms and shortening their duration. Others who come to us for treatment opt for needle-free therapies or homeopathic treatments they can administer at home.

Most allergy treatments involve controlled exposure to the allergen that results in a lessening of symptoms.

What are some ways to avoid ragweed pollen?

  • Limit your time outdoors.
  • Change your clothes upon entering the house.
  • Replace air conditioning filters often.
  • Never use outdoor clothes lines.
  • Wash hands often.
  • Shower before bed.

If you sneeze through autumn, come visit us at our brand new facility on Ridge Avenue! Schedule an appointment with our allergy specialists today: 215-508-5555.

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