If you’ve seen the weather forecast this week, you may have noticed the high ragweed pollen level alerts. This is problematic for many, as it is estimated 15-20% of Americans suffer from ragweed allergy. This green flowering weed (17 different varieties, not to be confused with Goldenrod, Kentucky’s state flower) makes millions of us miserable with runny noses, itchy throats and burning eyes.
A single ragweed plant can produce one billion pollen grains per season, and the lightweight pollen grains can be carried up to 400 miles in the wind! Ragweed is very hardy and can be found in vacant lots, the side of the roads, parks and fields; it can thrive in poor soil conditions. In our area, the ragweed pollination ends around the time of the first frost.
Also, some people with ragweed allergy experience an itchy throat or mouth after eating some common fresh fruits and vegetables. The condition is called oral allergy syndrome and an allergist can help you diagnose and manage your symptoms.
What can you do?
- See an allergist to determine the culprit of your allergies.
- There are over-the-counter and prescription medications which can help reduce pollen allergy symptoms including nasal sprays, antihistimines and decongestants.
- If these medicines do not provide relief, you may be a candidate for immunotherapy (allergy shots).
- Avoidance can help lessen symptoms. Keep windows closed and use a HEPA filter. Early mornings are the best time to get outside since ragweed is a late-morning pollinator.
Call our office today at (502) 882-2063 to schedule an appointment to help you figure out your allergies and come up with a treatment plan that works for you.