It’s that time of year again. You see it and you feel it. The itchy and watery eyes, the runny nose, the sneezing, a bit of a tight feeling in your chest. It’s allergy season – again!
In the springtime we deal with the trees coming into bloom. This time of year the allergy culprit is ragweed. Ragweed is a weed that pollinates in late summer and fall. It’s been a very hot and dry August, perfect weather conditions for ragweed to flourish. The ragweed season lasts up to eight weeks and generally peaks in mid September.
75% of Americans who suffer from allergies are allergic to ragweed. Some people who suffer with a ragweed allergy may also find themselves allergic to bananas or cantaloups.
There is no cure for ragweed allergies. The best way to lessen symptoms of ragweed allergies, as with any allergy, is to avoid contact with the allergen. However, this can be difficult as ragweed pollen is in the air we must breath. It’s not as easy as avoiding your friend’s cat.
Most medical professionals suggest an over the counter decongestant or antihistamine to treat the symptoms associated with seasonal allergies.
However, if over the counter medications do not provide enough relief allergy shots, or what is called immunotherapy would be in order. A skin patch test would be performed to determine the exact allergens causing problems and serum would be created with small amounts of those allergens. Regular shots would be given. Most immunotherapy treatments last up to two years before maximum benefit is achieved.
In some severe cases people who also have asthma find their asthma is made worse by exposure to ragweed pollen. It has been found that some asthma suffers benefit from receiving immunotherapy and that over time this therapy can result in less frequent and less severe asthma attacks.