As we’re well into the fall season, many of you may still be suffering from allergy symptoms. In most cases, this is triggered by ragweed pollen and mold spores released into the air from lingering warm, humid or windy conditions.
Ragweed season begins in July, peaks in mid-September, and can linger until November, in some parts of the U.S. Approximately 26% of Americans have a ragweed allergy, and 75% of those who are allergic to spring plants also have reactions to ragweed.
As climate change results in more extreme storm patterns and wind events, this highly allergenic pollen becomes more readily dispersed by winds. With each plant producing about a billion pollen grains each season – ragweed pollen can be carried up to 400 miles by wind.
Higher carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere have also increased the potency of ragweed pollen for allergy sufferers. According to Dr. Alan Goldsobel, allergy specialist at the Allergy and Asthma Associates of Northern California, “Increasing CO2 levels and urban growth effects have largely contributed to the rise in respiratory allergies and bronchial asthma cases seen over recent decades.”
But other types of weeds can also trigger allergy symptoms, including – tumbleweed, cocklebur, mugwort, sagebrush, Russian thistle, among others.
Here are some tips for keeping pollen allergy symptoms under control:
- Check pollen and mold counts in your region, and plan outdoor activities accordingly.
- Keep windows and doors closed, if at all possible, and use your central air conditioning system, if you have one. It’s a good idea to use air filters that are AAFA Certified Asthma & Allergy Friendly® and change them as recommended.
- Avoid foods and herbs that contain proteins similar to those in ragweed pollen, which may trigger an allergic reaction, including: bananas, chamomile, cantaloupe, Echinacea, cucumbers, zucchini, among others.
- Consider immunotherapy treatments available for severe cases of ragweed allergy (allergy shots or pills).
If you are experiencing painful allergic rhinitis symptoms such as sinus pain, consider alternative treatment methods using gentle microcurrent technology.
Such alternative allergy treatments for sinus pain from allergies include 100% drug-free ClearUP Sinus Pain Relief® – advanced microcurrent (low-level electrical stimulation) for reducing sinus pain.
In some cases, treatment may require a combination of natural, over-the-counter, and other alternatives. If your symptoms persist, consider seeing a board-certified allergist to get a proper diagnosis.