What is in the air right now?
Updated: Sep 18, 2018
what is in the air right now that is causing so many people to have allergy issues? It is Ragweed, the weed pollen responsible for what is commonly known as “hayfever”. Ragweed plants start releasing pollen grains from late August through early November. In North Texas ragweed tends to peak in late September and it is found on every continent except Antarctica. Giant ragweed looks like a marijuana plant growing on the side of the road almost everywhere you go that your HOA doesn’t have control over. Take a look next time you drive by the edge of a park. It’s everywhere!
Unlike in the spring when you can see the blanket of yellow green pollen coating your windshield and other surfaces, fall pollens are less conspicuous. This catches many allergy sufferers off guard and unprepared for outdoor activities. Since you can’t move to Antarctica, what can you do?
If you have never been allergy tested but know you have itchy sneezy eyes and nose every year between Labor Day and Halloween, chances are you are allergic to Ragweed. If you get an itchy mouth or throat when you eat fresh bananas or melons, you are very likely to be ragweed allergic.
You have another 1-2 weeks before Ragweed counts peak so there is still time to prevent a bad flare up. Keep in mind that it can take up to a week for nasal sprays to reach their full therapeutic effect so don’t wait until you’re miserable to start OTC meds.
Start taking an OTC non-sedating antihistamine to help with itchy/sneezy symptoms
Start taking an OTC nasal spray like Flonase, Nasacort or Rhinocort to help with congestion, post nasal drip and eye symptoms. Yes, they help with eye symptoms but don’t put the spray in your eyes silly.
In the late summer/fall the pollen counts are highest in the morning so if you are exercising outdoors, consider doing it later in the day. If this is not possible, a natural medicine-free way to flush out pollen you’ve breathed in is with saline rinses using a Sinus Rinse bottle or Neti pot type device. This takes some getting used to but it works!
Change your clothes, wash your hands and face off and even wipe down your dog’s coat with a damp towel after being outdoors for long stretches to avoid tracking pollen inside with you.
If year after year you or your family members are suffering with fall allergies and OTC meds are not helping, consider seeing an Allergist for testing and long-term treatment options like allergy shots (immunotherapy) or sublingual immunotherapy tablets.