Published April 29, 2022
Ragweed is a perennial weed with soft stems that grow throughout the United States. 17 species of ragweed can be found in the United States. Typically, the plants are located in rural areas and/or open spaces that receive plenty of sunlight. Ragweed plants release grains of pollen during the late spring and fall months in order for other ragweed plants to get fertilized.
Ragweed may begin to release pollen as early as the last days of July and continue, depending on the location, until the middle of October. Pollen carried by the wind can reach hundreds of miles and can survive a mild winter.
Cause of Ragweed Allergies
In the United States, the pollens of the ragweed plant are one of the most common triggers of seasonal allergies. When pollen is inhaled, many people experience an adverse immune response. Normally, the immune system will protect the body from dangerous intruders, thus preventing illness. Ragweed allergies cause the immune system to misidentify ragweed pollen as a hazardous substance. This encourages the immune system to release chemicals that combat the pollen, despite the fact that it is completely harmless. The reaction causes a number of unpleasant symptoms, including sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes.
Around 26% of Americans are allergic to ragweed. Once developed, the allergy is unlikely to disappear. Symptoms can be managed with medicines and allergy injections. Certain lifestyle improvements may also help alleviate ragweed allergies’ symptoms.
Ragweed Allergies Symptoms
Your symptoms may vary according to the season and location. However, the most frequently encountered ragweed allergy symptoms include the following:
- itchy, watery eyes
- throat irritation
- runny nose
- sinus pressure (might result in facial pain)
- bluish-colored, swollen skin beneath the eyes
- impaired sense of smell or taste
- poor quality of sleep
Individuals may also get allergic eczema in some situations after being introduced to ragweed pollen. This rash is typically characterized by small bumps and/or blisters. It often manifests within 24 to 48 hours following exposure. Typically, the rash resolves on its own after two to three weeks.
Other irritants, such as cigarette smoke, powerful odors, or air pollution, can worsen symptoms. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, climate change may further intensify ragweed allergy symptoms. Rising temperatures may result in an extension of the ragweed pollen season. Further, they can stimulate ragweed to generate more pollen.
Ragweed Allergies Are Not Seasonal
An allergy to ragweed pollen is essentially a reaction of the immune system to the pollen. Your body protects itself against the pollen, even if the pollen is harmless, by producing chemicals to combat it.
Ragweed pollen grains are tiny and can be carried hundreds of miles by the wind. This means that it spreads readily and rapidly and has the potential to hit a large number of individuals. As a result, seasonal allergies are not limited to the spring and summer seasons. Therefore, if you continue to experience allergies throughout September and October, it is possible that you have a ragweed allergy.
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About The Author
Krizzia Paolyn, is an SEO Specialist and author. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She started her career as a content writer for various digital magazines and renowned publications. It has always been her passion to share her voice, and at the same time, to encourage others to share their voices as well.