Ragweed Allergy

Ragweed is a flowering plant in the genus Ambrosia. These plants can grow just a few centimeters tall, but they are practically everywhere. While they started in the southwest region of the U.S., they have spread to most every corner of the country.

From August to November, ragweed blossoms produce fine, powdery pollen granules which spread far and wide on the wind. Some studies have stated that a single ragweed plant can produce upward of 1 billion grains of pollen in its short few-month life span. It’s also estimated that one square mile of ragweed plants produces 16 tons of pollen, with peak pollination during the hours of 10 am to 3 pm.

Ragweed is a common allergen. As with other allergens, the body’s immune systems can adversely react to ragweed, mistaking it for a “foreign invader” instead of as the harmless pollen that it is. The body attempts to fight it off by releasing chemicals such as histamine which end up hurting the body and leading to symptoms such as sneezing, a runny or stuffy nose, itchy eyes, and an itchy throat. These combined symptoms are commonly referred to as hay fever. Most cases of fall hay fever are caused by allergies to ragweed. In fact, it has been estimated that about 10 to 30 percent of Americans are allergic to ragweed.

In addition to the aforementioned common allergy symptoms, a person could also suffer from nasal congestion, sleep disruption, red or puffy eyes, and eczema or hives. Severe bouts of hay fever could lead to chronic sinus problems (sinusitis) and even asthma attacks.

If you suspect that you have an allergy to ragweed or other pollens, contact AllergyEasy to find out about no-shots, no-hassle allergy treatment from an AllergyEasy physician near you.

About The Author

Stuart H. Agren, M.D.

Stuart H. Agren, M.D. completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Utah and went on to earn his Doctor of Medicine from Tulane University School of Medicine in 1974. He completed additional training at L.D.S. Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah and then established his private medical practice starting in 1975. Dr. Agren completed a mini-residency in Industrial Medicine at the Robert Johnson School of Medicine at Rutgers University and also completed training to become a certified Medical Review Officer.

Dr. Agren was the Medical Director at TRW and McDonnell Douglas in Mesa, Arizona and at Stauffer Chemical and Kennecott Copper in Salt Lake City, Utah. He also served as an adjunct faculty member at Arizona State University.

In his private medical practice, Dr. Agren specialized in family practice and allergy. In his work as a private practice allergist, he was one of the first doctors in the country to prescribe sublingual immunotherapy to his patients as an alternative to subcutaneous immunotherapy (allergy shots). He has also been a trailblazer in the field of food allergy treatment and research, developing a program to treat multiple food allergies simultaneously using sublingual immunotherapy. Dr. Agren has been featured on local CBS, NBC, and ABC news affiliates and won the peer-nominated “Top Doc” award from Phoenix Magazine.

After 20 years in private practice, Dr. Agren became the Founder and President of AllergyEasy, which helps primary care physicians around the country offer allergy testing and sublingual immunotherapy treatment to their patients. Over 200 physicians in over 32 states use the AllergyEasy program to help their patients overcome environmental and food allergies and asthma.