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 counts are highest. Typically, that’s between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tracking the pollen count in your area can help you take special precautions on high-pollen days.
- At home and in your car, keep the windows closed and the air conditioner on. Air conditioners filter the air as well as cool it. Just make sure to change or clean the filters every three months or so.
- Change your clothes after spending time outdoors. Dry clothes in the dryer — not outdoors on a line, where they might get dusted with pollen.
- Shower before bed to remove pollen, especially from your face and hair.
- Try nasal irrigation. Rinsing out your nostrils with a salt water solution once or twice a day, using a neti pot or a bottle system, such as the one made by Neil-Med. Your doctor should be able to explain how and give you a recipe for the solution.
- Equip your home with HEPA air filters. A filter in each room works best. At the very least, you should have a filter running continuously in your bedroom. HEPA vacuum cleaners can also help.
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