Ragweed Allergy Symptoms and Treatments Options

Summer is ending and fall is just around the corner, and for some reason, you just cannot stop sneezing and your eyes are all itchy and irritated. You might have ragweed allergy otherwise known as hay fever.

What is Ragweed?

Ragweed is a type of flowering plant scientifically known as Ambrosia. These plants are found in temperate regions of South America and the Northern Hemisphere. These plants thrive in areas that are dry and sunny and have sandy soils. This species is known for causing widespread allergies because of ragweed pollen. The species that usually cause hay fever are the common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) and Western ragweed (Ambrosia psilostachya). Hay fever, or allergic rhinitis is a condition where there is allergic inflammation of a person’s nasal airways. This inflammation is caused when an allergen like pollen is inhaled and causes an allergic reaction. Ragweed allergy season usually occurs in the late summer and lasts until winter begins.

Ragweed Allergy Symptoms

Symptoms of ragweed allergy vary from person to person. For mild cases of ragweed allergy, symptoms can include runny nose, stuffy nose, eye irritation, puffy eyes, constant sneezing, and itchy throat. For severe cases of ragweed allergy, symptoms can include asthma attacks, chronic sinusitis, headaches, and severe allergies. For people who are sensitive to ragweed, they can also get rashes and hives.

Ragweed Allergy Treatments

Unfortunately, there is no treatment for ragweed allergy. All a person can do is manage the symptoms and to stay away from ragweed. The symptoms can be managed by the use of intranasal corticosteroids, antihistamines, decongestants, and by nasal irrigation. If these drugs do not work, a patient can use immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots as a last resort. Immunotherapy increases the body’s resistance to allergens but these allergens must be correctly identified so the correct allergy shots are given.

Read more on Immunotherapy Allergy Shots