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Some people think of pumpkin spice lattes, sweater weather, and pumpkin carving when they realize the fall season is approaching. Others think of allergies, frustration, and discomfort! For the latter, we want to help you beat your allergies so you can enjoy fall. Let’s talk about one of the most common fall allergens – ragweed. Here are the answers to several frequently asked questions about ragweed allergy:

What is ragweed?

Ragweed is a flowering plant that is found all over the United States, thanks to the lightweight pollen that the wind can easily carry and distribute. Each ragweed plant only lasts one season; it does not lie dormant during winter then reemerge the following fall. Although its time in the ground is short, a ragweed plant can release up to 1 billion grains during its lifetime. Hello, allergies!

What are the symptoms of a ragweed allergy?

A ragweed allergy produces symptoms such as watery eyes, sneezing, congestion, and an itchy throat. If you are thinking that these symptoms sound eerily familiar to a cold, you’re right! Ragweed allergy and cold share the same symptoms, so how do you know if you’re dealing with allergies or simply the common cold? Two elements that can help you determine the culprit of your symptoms is the timing and the progression of the symptoms.

The common cold’s symptoms will progress slowly and dissipate between days 7 and 10. Ragweed allergy symptoms will hit you all at once and will not let up until you have removed yourself from the allergen.

Is there treatment for a ragweed allergy?

Yes! Before issuing treatment, your friendly Langford Allergy team member will conduct a skin test to determine if ragweed is indeed the culprit. This won’t take long – about 20 minutes – and the test results will be ready right away.

If your skin becomes irritated in the area that the allergen was placed, it’s likely that you are allergic to ragweed. From there, your allergist will discuss what treatment options are available. Many people find relief from their ragweed allergy symptoms via allergy tablets or immunotherapy. The tablets will target the symptoms and immunotherapy will target the root of the problem. It’s important to discuss your overall goals for your allergies with your Langford Allergy allergist.

Dealing with a ragweed allergy? Schedule an appointment today with Langford Allergy: 478-787-4728