Ragweed allergy is one of the most common allergies in America. Ragweed allergy is present in at least one out of every five Americans. The ragweed plant is found in rural areas and in places where there is enough sunlight. As soon as springtime approaches people suffering from allergies often begin to sneeze, have stuffy nose and burning eyes. These symptoms of hay fever are often caused by ragweed pollens.
Ragweed actually belongs to sunflower family. The pollens released from flowers disperse all around with a draught of air. They are light and travel very far distance therefore allergy to ragweed is much more rampant and found in places even where the plants are not found.
For those who are vulnerable to allergies, precautionary measures play a vital role in suffering from this frustrating problem. Although the problem is not serious, it has to be treated. There are several natural ways to treat the condition aside from regular anti histamine medicines.
How Does Ragweed Cause Allergies?
Pollens of ragweed are harmless for a normal person. But every person is different and each one reacts differently to substances which he comes in contact with. Some people are extremely sensitive and their immune system reacts vigorously to inhaled ragweed pollens producing allergic symptoms.
Their body’s immune system perceives protein in ragweed pollens as harmful substance. As a result body produces antibodies and host of chemical reaction in the blood stream releasing histamine, a chemical which causes the most apparent allergic symptoms.
Ragweed allergy can affect anyone from children to adults. Males and women are equally affected. Some people suffer from milder form of ragweed allergy while there are others whose immune system reacts violently to produce problems like asthma or sinusitis.
Ragweed Allergy Symptoms
Ragweed allergy symptoms are similar to other types of allergens which causes hay fever. Symptoms occur during the springtime when the pollens are carried away in the air. These include:
- Running nose
- Red, burning and watery eyes.
- Scratchy and irritation in nose.
- Inflammation of nasal sinuses.
- Dry cough with occasional wheezing.
- Itching in upper palate, eyes and nose.
- Mild raised temperature.
- Loss sense of taste and smell.
Those who are extremely sensitive may develop itching over skin and contact dermatitis when they come in contact with ragweed. They are hypersensitive to proteins found in ragweed. Itching, rash, wheals and rarely blisters are some of rare but possible symptoms of ragweed allergy.
Usually these symptoms heal after few days, but once the allergy occurs, patient should stay away from ragweed plants.
Natural Remedies For Ragweed Allergy
There are several over the counter anti histamine medicines which may impede the symptoms of ragweed allergy. Decongestants are used when patients present with stuffy and blocked nose.
It is extremely impossible to stop ragweed pollens entering the airways because of their vast presence in atmospheric air during certain seasons. However, steps can be taken to minimize their inhalation and at the same time to boost immune system.
- Wear a mask while going out during springs in areas known to be full of ragweed pollens.
- Use high efficiency particulate air filter (HEPA).
- Instead of HEPA, you can also use a humidifier which keeps the pollens away from the rooms.
- Avoid strolling outside your house in the early morning when pollen counts are its peak.
- Eat fruits and vegetables in plenty to improve your immunity.
- Avoid smoking and drinking as they make the condition worse.