CHI doctor warns of increased ragweed allergy symptoms

Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 8:49 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - If you’ve been dealing with allergy symptoms lately, there’s a reason for that. This time of year, ragweed is the common culprit and it could be causing a number of symptoms.

Ragweed is a weed that grows this time of year, particularly in the North America. The flower produces pollen, which is what causes allergy symptoms that are normally rampant between the beginning of September to the end of November. According to Aaron Robinson, Otolaryngologist for CHI Health, the recent dry spell is why you may have been experiencing even worse allergy symptoms throughout the month of September.

“The pollen is very light the air moves quickly and easily,” Robinson said. “Even if you don’t live here in town where there’s a lot of ragweed, they can spread across the whole city and even other areas because it travels very easily in the wind.”

If you’ve been feeling under the weather, sometimes it can be difficult to know if it’s allergies, a cold or even COVID-19. Usually when it comes to seasonal allergies, you’ll have a runny nose, scratchy throat or itchy eyes. Robinson said any type of itching, whether it be in the eyes, throat or ears is normally a common symptom of allergies. But, if you’re experiencing fatigue or a fever, these are signs that it’s probably something more than allergies.

“A lot of people get concerned is this COVID-19, is this a cold is, this allergies and it’s confusing,” Robinson said. “It leads to a lot of people missing days of work and seeking treatment or antibiotics that may or may not be necessary. The first thing to think about is if you have had this kind of thing before and if it usually happens the same type of year that’s usually a good tip off there might be an allergic type reaction.”

Robinson advises wearing a hat and sunglasses to avoid allergies if you know you’re going to be outside. Take a shower and change your clothes right when you get home and if you know you get particularly worse allergies this time of year, over the counter medicine should help.

If you just can’t seem to get rid of the scratchy throat or the runny nose, even after using nasal sprays and allergy pills, Robinson said it’s a good idea to see your doctor or a specialist and pinpoint exactly how to beat the symptoms.