Poor Air Quality During Ragweed Season
Every year air quality is getting worse as air pollution increases from sources like wildfires. Poor air quality has contributed to a longer allergy season and aggravating symptoms. Ragweed pollen is a major cause of seasonal allergies.
Ragweed is a weed that typically grows in rural areas. Even though ragweed mostly grows in the east and midwest it can release countless pollen grains that can travel far and quickly affect the entire U.S. Ragweed is a common cause of typical allergy symptoms during the pollen season.
Ragweed season can last as long as five months in some states in the U.S. Ragweed season can start as early as July and end as late as November with its peak being in mid-September.
Although ragweed pollen tends to go away after the first freeze of the year it can still hang around on the ground and be swept up during windy days or released while you’re raking leaves. Anyone with ragweed pollen allergies can spend almost half the year fighting symptoms.
Ragweed Allergy Symptoms
Ragweed allergy symptoms will sound familiar because they’re the typical symptoms you think of when you think of seasonal allergy hay fever symptoms. These allergy symptoms aren’t usually severe, but they can be constant and frustrating enough to affect your quality of life and mental health.
Symptoms from ragweed pollen exposure include sneezing, nasal congestion, post nasal drip, and headaches. Beyond the typical symptoms, unfortunately, respiratory issues can come hand in hand with allergic rhinitis. Meaning that allergies can easily aggravate respiratory illnesses like asthma and make both asthma and allergy symptoms worse.
Ragweed season affects air quality in your area depending on the pollen count. Ragweed pollen won’t affect your air quality like car fumes or wildfire smoke, but it does introduce a potentially harmful substance into your outdoor air if you are allergic to ragweed pollen or have asthma.
Ragweed season can make those who are allergic to ragweed pollen miserable with constant sniffling and sneezing, but thankfully there are ways to mitigate these symptoms we’ll discuss below.
A Quick Note on Food Allergy Symptoms
Eating certain foods can create a similar allergic reaction to those who have ragweed allergies. If you have symptoms like sneezing or headaches after eating these foods it might be best to avoid eating them in the future. This can also be a way of learning if you do have ragweed allergies and should avoid going outside for a long period of time on high ragweed pollen days.
It’s best to visit a physician and discuss how to approach ragweed allergies or food allergies. There are antihistamines and other options like an allergy shot to help you avoid the worst symptoms of a ragweed pollen allergy during ragweed season.
What You Can Do During Ragweed Season
Constantly having a runny nose or having to deal with headaches every day isn’t ideal and can cause physical health issues including aggravating any symptoms from asthma. Allergy symptoms can also affect your focus, productivity, and overall mental health.
There are tools that help you track air quality and pollen count in your area. It’s as easy as entering your city into Oransi’s search engine to get a live reading of both air quality and specific pollen levels in your area. Take this October 2022 screenshot of the pollen count in Orlando, Florida, for example, showing the high ragweed pollen concentration in the east coast city.
Another thing to keep in mind is that ragweed pollen thrives in the wind and likes to cling to leaves. Your ragweed allergy is typically worse on windy days or if you’re raking and bagging leaves because you’re exposed to higher levels of ragweed. It helps allergy sufferers to stay inside on the windiest days when the weed pollen count is high and be prepared before raking leaves.
While the cause of ragweed pollen is outside, cleaning your indoor air year round is important. It’s even more important to do so during ragweed season. According to the EPA, indoor air is 2 to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air.
Ragweed pollen can easily get inside your home either through open windows or sticking to the clothes you’ve worn outside. Filtering out this pollen can help mitigate any symptoms you’ll be fighting due to your ragweed allergy.
Poor indoor air quality can make your allergy symptoms worse and aggravate any respiratory symptoms you may be experiencing from asthma.Maintaining healthy indoor air quality by running a real HEPA air purifier is crucial in mitigating allergy symptoms. A HEPA air purifier will help filter out any pollen, including ragweed pollen, that is floating around in your home.