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Friday, September 23, 2011

Seasonal allergies (I hate ragweed!)

Many people only get allergies a certain time of year (they call it seasonal allergic rhinitis-also known as hayfever.) One of the worst things for fall is ragweed. I hate that stuff! One plant can make a million pollen spores in one day, and it can really travel! According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation, ragweed pollen has been found as far as 400 miles out to sea and 2 miles up in the atmosphere! Most of it falls close to the ground, but if you're sneezing, there's a good chance that ragweed is the culprit. Click here to read more information about ragweed from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation.

I was reading an article in Coping with Allergies and Asthma magazine about ragweed. They had some great ideas. Some of their suggestions are:

  • Start on allegy medication the first week of August, before ragweed season hits.

  • Get treated for allergies year round which can make it easier when ragweed season starts. They say other allergies (animals, dust mites, etc) can prime your system, which can make it even worse when hayfever starts.

  • Avoid the outdoors between 5:00 am- 10:00 am, when pollen levels are highest.

  • Avoid raking leaves and mowing the lawn (both stir up pollen). If you must do either of those, use a N-95 respirator mask.

  • Wear glasses or sunglasses to protect your eyes from pollen

  • Avoid irritants such as air pollution, smoke, fumes, etc that can make your symptoms worse.

  • Visit an allergist to see how he can help your symptoms

I would add to their list the things Asthma Doctor tells our family to do (and we do!)

  • Shower before bed (this removes pollen from your hair and skin and allows you to sleep better)

  • Keep the windows and doors closed to keep pollen out

  • Take your shoes off when you enter your home to avoid tracking pollen in

If you are one of the millions who suffers from allergies, I feel your pain. Hubby and I all have allergies, as well as all 3 of the kids. All 3 kids have had allergy shots, and it has helped them dramatically. To find out more about allergy shots (immunotherapy) click here.

And please pass the box of tissues!



  1. Thanks for the tips! Let me just add that's it's better to start allergy-proofing your house before the winter. Implement house cleaning strategies that will reduce allergens such as changing the bedding with hypo-allergenic comforters and improving the indoor air quality by choosing the right air conditioners and purifiers. Jessica @

    1. Hi Jessica,

      We actually use those things year round, they seem to really make a difference. Little changes like that can make a BIG difference with asthma symptoms! :)