Be Prepared for Intense Ragweed this Fall

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This past spring, devastating floods from unprecedented storms brought daily life in Houston to a halt. Months later, a new environmental consequence of those record rainfalls has emerged. All the heavy rain that saturated the ground created the perfect breeding conditions for fall’s number one allergen: ragweed.

Even in a year without record-breaking floods, ragweed is so widespread that it is nearly impossible for allergy-sufferers to avoid. This inescapable plant’s pollination season has slowly expanded over the last few years. Ragweed’s pollination season once ran from mid-August to September and now begins in mid-August and extends through mid-October. However, this year, these persistent plants began pollinating at the beginning of August, weeks ahead of schedule thanks to those April and May showers.

So how do you fight against this growing wave of eye-watering, congestion-causing, sneeze-inducing ragweed pollen?

This fall, the best defense against allergies is a good offense. Pulling up ragweed from your yard won’t prevent exposure, but it will reduce the amount of concentrated ragweed around your home. You can recognize common ragweed by its tall stalks with fern-like, fuzzy leaves topped by clusters of small yellow buds.

Pictured: An example of common ragweed. It can grow up to three feet high and tends to sprout up in open spaces such as empty lots and parks.

Other ways to reduce ragweed pollen around your home include keeping your windows closed against the fall breeze, checking your shoes at the door, and vacuuming the floors and upholstered furniture each week. And car owners, give your car a bi-weekly wash inside and out to prevent pollen from building up and irritating your allergies as you drive around town.

Removing the plants from your property and maintaining a weekly cleaning schedule can reduce the amount of allergens in your home this fall, but these measures won’t protect you completely from this surge of ragweed pollen. Ragweed pollen is so light the wind can carry it over 400 miles, which means a field of ragweed out in Midland can irritate the allergies of someone living in Houston. Even if your neighborhood is ragweed-free, you can’t escape the pollen from ragweed plants growing up as far away as Arkansas!

Seeking professional allergy treatment now can spare you from a fall allergy season spent fighting congestion, sinus headaches, watery eyes, and a perpetually runny nose. While ragweed may be a common allergen for many Houstonians, There is no one-size-fits-all solution to treating allergies. Dr. Pasha begins treatment with allergy testing to determine the source of a patient’s symptoms. After determining the source of their allergies, Dr. Pasha works with the patient to find their best solution so they can breathe freely again. Don’t let this year’s massive ragweed growth ruin your fall, schedule an appointment with us today.