Three out of every four people who suffer from seasonal allergies are allergic to ragweed. If you’re among the throngs of ragweed sufferers, brace yourself for the next few months. Ragweed pollens are typically unleashed from the middle of September through the end of October and can trigger a runny or stuffed-up nose, coughing, wheezing, sinus pain, itchy eyes, a scratchy throat, and headaches.
Why does ragweed cause so many allergies?
Ragweed is a flowering plant with 17 species growing throughout North America. Great ragweed and common ragweed are among the most allergenic species. Ragweed grows in disturbed areas, including corn and soybean fields. It can also be found in marshes, on beaches, along roadways, and in abandoned lots.
Ragweed is one of the most prolific pollinators, releasing a powdery substance that can be transported on a light breeze. A single ragweed plant can unleash a billion grains of pollen per season. You may not have ragweed in your neck of the woods, but that doesn’t mean you’re free of its effects. Ragweed pollen can be carried on the wind for hundreds of miles.
Is ragweed season getting longer?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has monitored ragweed pollination in cities in the central part of the U.S. over the past couple of decades. Its research showed that the pollination season has steadily increased in over 90 percent of the monitored cities. Scientists link the lengthening of ragweed season to global warming. Global warming creates higher carbon dioxide levels, which, in turn, fuel ragweed growth. Thus, in some parts of the country, ragweed season can last up to three weeks longer than it did 20 years ago.
How can I feel good during ragweed season?
If ragweed season makes you miserable, you can combat its effects with prescription medications such as antihistamines. Medications can soften symptoms, but they aren’t enough to keep some people feeling good. And even if they do reduce symptoms, they don’t last long-term. (You’ll be back to square one when next year’s ragweed season rolls around.)
Allergy immunotherapy offers a long-term solution. It is available in two main forms: allergy shots or under-the-tongue drops (known as sublingual immunotherapy). Both treatments can help desensitize your immune system to ragweed pollens so that you stop reacting to them once and for all.
Through our turnkey allergy treatment program, we can help your primary care physician prescribe sublingual immunotherapy. This shot-free, hassle-free allergy treatment can “teach” your body to stop reacting to ragweed pollens.
At AllergyEasy, we help physicians increase the revenue of their medical practices while helping their allergic patients rediscover good health.