Ragweed is a main cause of weed allergies.
The main cause of weed allergy is ragweed. Other sources of weed pollen include sagebrush, pigweed, and tumbleweed.
Ragweed is a triggering factor for seasonal allergies. This seasonal allergy if often referred to as “seasonal allergic rhinitis” or hay fever.
Pollens are wind pollinated. This means that these small tiny pollens are travel by wind.
Ragweed Allergy symptoms include:
Itchy, watery and red eyes
Itchy nose and itchy throat
In addition to this ragweed allergy can trigger asthma symptoms and can lead to:
Tightness in the chest or chest pain
Diagnosis of Ragweed Allergy
Tell your physician /allergist, the symptoms you are experiencing. Tell him when this symptoms start occurring, how much time the symptoms last and how you get relief. Ask for perennial allergic symptoms.
Physical examination: To find out any urticarial lesion in the body and to exclude other cause of similar symptoms.
Skin prick testing (SPT) or Prick skin testing (PST), is a widely used, high quality, low risk allergy test to demonstrate immediate IgE-mediated allergy. The test is cost effective. The test should be performed by a trained person.
Allergen specific IgE testing- Blood testing for allergen-specific IgE is usually performed when the skin prick test is contraindicated. They can also be done in extreme of age i.e., an infant and elderly patients where skin prick test is not appropriate.
Pollen avoidance measures
- Avoid outdoor activities when pollen counts are high. This measure will reduce the expose of pollen. Therefore it reduce your symptoms.
- Keep windows closed during pollen season. This will again reduce pollen exposure. Therefore it reduce your symptoms.
- Use central air conditioning or air purifier.
- Visit physician before pollen season. If your physician suggest then you can start medication before pollen season starts.
- Pollen may stuck in your hair when you are outside. So bathe and shampoo your hair daily.
- Wash bedsheet, pillow cover in hot, soapy water once a week.
- During pollen season, wear sunglasses and a hat.
- Avoid long contact with pets.
- Change cloths after coming from outdoor.
- Dry your clothes in a clothes dryer during high pollen season.
Treatment for Ragweed Allergy
The most important step is to avoid ragweed
Certain over-the-counter and prescription antihistamines.
Nasal corticosteroids spray.
Leukotriene receptor antagonists
Immunotherapy (allergy shots).
Pollen-food allergy syndrome also known as oral allergy syndrome can occur with ragweed. This syndrome may affect many people who have allergic rhinitis/ hay fever. In this condition, certain fresh fruits and vegetables can trigger an allergic reaction that leads to tingling sensation and itching in and around the mouth. In rare cases, it can trigger a severe form of allergy called anaphylaxis.
The main reason for oral allergy syndrome is the cross-reactivity of proteins of certain raw fruits and vegetables with certain pollens. Symptoms of food allergy may reduce if someone cook the food and vegetables properly.
Birch, grass and ragweed pollens are common triggers of oral allergy syndrome.