Ragweed Allergy: 5 Tips to Help You Manage the Season

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Ragweed allergy season is here. Tips on how to keep the sneezing, wheezing and restless nights under better control.

Ragweed season can mean a time of year when leaves change into brilliant colors, football season starts, children go back to school, and the summer heat tapers making way for cooler temperatures. For others who suffer from ragweed allergy, this pesky pollen can trigger several months of sneezing, wheezing and restless sleep. Not to mention multiple trips to the pharmacy and/or doctor in search of relief. Typically, ragweed starts pollinating around Labor Day, plus or minus two weeks depending on where you live in the U.S.

Although other allergens such as molds and weeds can increase during this time of year, ragweed pollen is particularly problematic because of its highly allergenic properties. "Of those who suffer from allergy in the United States, nearly 75% are allergic to ragweed," says Dr. Joseph R. Perez an allergist at Allergy & Asthma Care of Houston http://www.aachou.com . "There are certain air-borne allergens that cause significant nasal, eye and lung inflammation which include cat dander, grass pollen, and ragweed. They can be responsible for revving up your immune response and making you feel sick." The word hayfever describes the physical ailment that some of these people experience. There is hope, however, to help you manage the season with these 5 tips:

1.    Avoid the Trigger: Simple maneuvers such as closing the windows and doors to the house and rolling up the car windows while driving reduces pollen exposure. Ragweed pollen is highest in the late morning and on dry, windy days so keep this in mind when planning outdoor activities.

2.    Premedicate for the Season: Starting your physician-recommended medication 2 weeks before the start of the allergy season can reduce your symptoms.

3.    Filters can Help: Changing air conditioner filters in the home and car are a good idea to keep allergens in the air at a lower level. Some people receive further benefit from a HEPA filtering device in the home.

4.    Keep Outdoor Pollens Outdoors: Avoid line drying your clothes outside or tracking pollen in with your shoes. Pets are magnets for pollen because of their fur, so sometimes a quick wash will remove a potentially hidden source of allergen.

5.    Visit your Local Allergist: Allergists are fellowship-trained physicians who have the ability to confirm that you are indeed allergic to ragweed, and can offer a variety of treatment options including possible allergy shots (immunotherapy) for those more resistant or intolerant to medication.

So the next time you pass by a ragweed plant and sneeze uncontrollably, following these simple tips can better prepare you for the season ahead. To learn more about nasal allergies (allergic rhinitis) and asthma visit http://www.aachou.com

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