Ragweed is a flowering plant in the genus Ambrosia in the aster family, Asteraceae. The plants are most often found in rural areas and open spaces that get plenty of sunlight. Between the late spring and fall months, These plants release tiny grains of pollen to fertilize other ragweed plants.
Depending on the location, They may begin spreading their pollen as early as the last week of July and continue into the middle of October. Its wind-driven pollen can travel hundreds of miles and survive through a mild winter. These plants are a common allergen. When a person breathes in ragweed pollen, their immune system may react as if it is an illness-causing substance, and they may experience allergy symptoms.
Approximately 26% of Americans have a ragweed allergy. The allergy is unlikely to go away once it has developed. However, symptoms can be treated with medications and allergy shots. Making certain lifestyle changes may also help relieve the symptoms associated with ragweeds allergies.
Symptoms of a Ragweed Allergy
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Scratchy throat
- Runny nose or congestion
- Coughing or wheezing
- Sinus pressure, which may cause facial pain
- Swollen, bluish-colored skin beneath the eyes
- Decreased sense of smell or taste
- Poor sleep quality
In some cases, people may also develop allergic eczema after being exposed to ragweeds pollen. This itchy, painful rash is usually comprised of small bumps and blisters. It can appear within 24-48 hours after exposure. The rash will usually resolve on its own within two or three weeks.
Symptoms can become worse due to other irritants, such as tobacco smoke, strong odors, or air pollution. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, climate change may also be making ragweed allergy symptoms worse. Warmer temperatures may extend the ragweed pollen season. They can also cause to produce increased amounts of pollen.