Weed Pollen Allergy

The word ragweed is often enough to make people sneeze. It is maybe the most notorious weed to cause allergy symptoms, but is certainly not the only weed pollen allergy.

Ragweed pollen under the microscope. Photograph by David McLain.

Weeds that can cause allergic reactions include:

  • Cocklebur
  • Dock
  • English plantain
  • Kochia
  • Lambs quarters
  • Marsh Elder
  • Mugwort
  • Pigweed
  • Ragweed
  • Russian thistle
  • Sagebrush

These different weeds pollinate from late June to late September and cause allergic rhinitis symptoms for most allergy sufferers. As the pollen from these plants pass through the air, people breathe it in and their body tries to fight against it.

Weed pollen allergy cause symptoms such as:

  • Sneezing
  • Nasal congestion
  • Headaches
  • Eye and throat irritation

Watching the pollen counts, typically counting ragweed, can help to decide what your day’s activities should be, whether it’s inside or outside. Taking antihistamines and using nasal sprays can also help to reduce weed pollen allergy symptoms.

The only way to actually modify the immune reaction to weed pollen is through immunotherapy. Sublingual immunotherapy is a simple and convenient treatment option that may work towards reducing symptoms all together.

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