The symptoms of ragweed allergy usually include sneezing episodes, itchy or watery eyes and runny nose which flare-up as the autumn season draws near. If the individual suffers from hay fever and other seasonal allergy symptoms, he/she might have ragweed allergy.
During the late summer up to early fall, many individuals suffer from seasonal allergy symptoms. Ragweed is capable of growing in almost any location such as vacant lots and along roadsides.
What are the signs and symptoms?
Even though not all who were exposed will end up with an allergic reaction, being exposed can stimulate a reaction in some. Once this occurs, the individual can develop worsening of the asthma symptoms such as the following:
- Chronic cough
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath
In addition, other allergy symptoms can also develop such as a stuffy or runny nose, sneezing and itchy eyes, throat, nose and other allergic rhinitis symptoms. These symptoms can result to loss of concentration, poor sleep leading to fatigue and poor performance at school or work.
Who are at risk?
Even though testing can identify those who are allergic to the ragweed pollen, most who are allergic to the pollen are also highly sensitive to the ragweed pollen.
As an outcome, if there is an increase in the allergy symptoms as the ragweed season start, chances are that the person has the allergy.
Even though there is no cure, the allergy is managed to minimize both the severity and frequency of the symptoms such as the following:
- Avoid exposure to the ragweed pollen by checking the pollen count before going outdoors and keeping the windows closed. Use an air conditioner to minimize exposure to the pollen and a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to eliminate the pollen.
- Shower every night to avoid spreading the pollen into the bed
- Regular bathing of pets
- Change location if possible especially in areas where the pollen counts are lower such as those close to the seashore.
Management of asthma
In case avoidance could not sufficiently prevent the symptoms of ragweed allergy, the following treatment options might be considered:
- Nasal steroids
- Over-the-counter medications
- Leukotriene receptor antagonists
- Allergy shots or immunotherapy