Allergen Glossary

Allergen – A substance that induces a specific immunological response that may lead to allergic disease. Allergist – A physician specializing in treating allergies. Allergy – Symptoms induced by exposure to an allergen to which previous sensitization has occurred. Antibody – An antibody is a protein (also called an immunoglobulin) that is manufactured by lymphocytes […]

Molds in Fall – Part 3

If symptoms are severe or unusually persistent, your doctor should probably test you to find out exactly what’s causing the trouble. The real culprit might not be ragweed at all, but another environmental allergen or even certain foods, such as chamomile and banana. Two allergy tests are widely used: A blood test checks for the […]

Molds in Fall – Part 2

The pollen from ragweed causes allergy symptoms in many people. These symptoms include sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, and itchy throat. This is often called hay fever or by its medical term, seasonal allergic rhinitis. Reducing Ragweed Exposure Here’s a few simple precautions can dramatically reduce your pollen exposure: As much as possible, stay indoors when pollen […]

Molds in Fall – Part 1

Even with summer over if you’re still sneezing odds are you’re among the 10% to 30% of Americans who suffer from hay fever, or allergic rhinitis. And most cases of hay fever are caused by an allergy to fall pollen from plants belonging to the genus Ambrosia — more commonly known as ragweed. Like all allergies, […]

Grass Pollen Allergies

Late spring and summer is when grass allergy season kicks in. There are more than 1,000 species of grass in North America, but only a handful cause serious allergic reactions in humans. Grass allergy sufferers must take extra care when doing yard work—especially when mowing the lawn. If possible, finding someone else to do that […]

Pollen Counts

Hundreds of thousands of people suffer from hay fever, and this season is shaping up to be one of the worst in years. The late spring has compressed the season, and there’s been little rain to wash the pollen out of the air. Tree pollen is very large and very obvious, but wild bluegrass and other […]

Can Local Honey Help Allergies?

Some people have suggested that honey consumption may be linked to a reduced risk of allergies, especially when the honey comes from local bees, which presumably visit many of the plants involved in provoking a local allergy sufferer’s symptoms. According to this popular belief, exposure to local honey works somewhat like a vaccine against local […]

What is a Pollen Count?

The pollen count tells us how many grains of plant pollen were in a certain amount of air (often one cubic meter) during a set period of time (usually 24 hours). Pollen is a very fine powder released by trees, weeds and grasses. It is carried to another plant of the same kind, to fertilize […]

Ragweed Allergy – Part 1

Come late summer, some 10 to 20 percent of Americans begin to suffer from ragweed allergy, or hay fever. Sneezing, stuffy or runny nose, itchy eyes, nose and throat and trouble sleeping make life miserable for these people. Some of them also must deal with asthma attacks.  All this misery can begin when ragweeds release […]

Ragweed Allergy – Part 2

How Is It Diagnosed? To identify an allergy to ragweed or one of its relatives, requires a careful medical history, a physical exam and testing. The main approach to confirm a suspected allergy is the skin sensitivity test. For this, the skin is scratched or pricked with extract of ragweed pollen. In sensitive people, the […]