Ragweed Season Starts August 15th

Ragweed comes in to bloom beginning mid-August, making August 15th the unofficial start of Ragweed Season for the country's 36 million seasonal allergy sufferers, and this means more sneezing and wheezing according to Drs. Corry and Johnson. Be prepared this season by making sure you have everything ready to go including fresh prescriptions, and if necessary, a recent office visit for you or your children.

Ragweed Facts

  • Each ragweed plant produces one billion pollen grains per average season
  • Grains can travel up to 400 miles due to their lightweight texture
  • Allergy sufferers in urban areas can feel the impact of ragweed because it grows in abundance in vacant lots
  • Ragweed commonly grows in fields and along roadsides
  • It is most prevalent throughout the Northeast, South and especially the Midwest
  • It blooms from mid-August to October

Symptoms of "Hay Fever," or Allergic Rhinitis

Once exposed to ragweed, allergy sufferers often experience sneezing, runny noses and swollen, itchy, watery eyes. Symptoms of allergic rhinitis, commonly called "hay fever," can have a major impact on a person's quality of life including their ability to function well at school or work.

The American Academy of Asthma Allergy and Immunology Reports:

  • People with allergic rhinitis miss 3.8 million days of work and school each year
  • More than one third of allergy sufferers said allergic rhinitis decreases their work effectiveness
  • 80% of patients with seasonal allergies experience sleep problems, which can lead to fatigue, loss of concentration and poor performance at school and work
  • Over 16.7 million visits to office-based physicians each year are attributed to allergic rhinitis
  • Lost work and school days, medications and physician office visits related to allergic rhinitis total more than $3 billion annually in the United States
  • Allergic rhinitis may contribute to sleep disorders, fatigue and learning problems.  People with allergic rhinitis often have asthma and/or sinusitis

We recommend the following tips for allergy sufferers to help reduce their exposure to ragweed:

  • Keep windows closed at night to prevent pollen from drifting into your home. Use air conditioning, which cleans, cools and dries the air
  • Minimize outdoor activity when pollen counts are high. Peak pollen times are usually between 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Keep your car windows closed when traveling
  • Take a shower after spending time outside - pollen can collect on your hair and skin
  • Don't hang sheets or clothing outside to dry. Pollens can collect on them
  • Start your allergy medications at the beginning of the season when symptoms are just starting. Be especially consistent with daily prescription nose sprays and eye drops for best results.
  • Get up-to-date pollen information for our area from the National Allergy Bureau at www.aaaai.org/nab or our website homepage www.asthma-allergyrelief.com

Date: 7/5/2005

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