Allergy Alert: Ragweed Season

Posted at 5:13 pm on 01/21/2015 by Powlin V. Manuel MD, MBA, MS.
ragweed

ragweed

ragweed

Ragweed

Ragweed Season Alert!

Ragweed Allergy

Ragweed Allergy

We are in the ragweed season now; At this time, ragweed pollen is the predominant allergen in the air; it a bad news for people with ragweed allergy. Ragweeds are very prevalent in USA, but the allergy symptoms occur only in the seasons at which the pollen are distributed in the air. There are different types of ragweeds: giant ragweed, short ragweed, perennial ragweed, southern ragweed, and canyon ragweed. Ragweeds are mostly distributed on pastures, open fields, and waste places. The pollen gets airborne and reaches areas near the fields in high concentration. Ragweed pollen entering the nose, most of them, are held back in the nose by filtering mechanisms of the nasal passage, If you are allergic to ragweed pollen, antibodies present in the cells of the nose put up a fight,resulting in release of a chemical called histamine in the nose. Histamine increases the blood flow to the area of contact. The glands of the nasal passage release mucus to digest the proteins of the pollen. This results in a watery discharge from the nose (runny nose). Histamine induces sneezing, which helps to expel the allergenic pollen in the sinuses. Thus, sneezing, runny-nose becomes common problems for thosewith ragweed allergy.

How to take care of Ragweed Allergy?

The main tool to take care of any allergy is avoidance. However, it not easy easy to completely avoid exposure to ragweed.  It is helpful to recognize the weed and try to stay away from them as much as possible. We have posted information about ragweed of different types on our webpage on ragweed allergy.

Regular use of steroid nasal sprays prescribed by your physician will help to reduce the inflammatory reaction in the nose and sinuses.

Use of antihistamine like claritin during the ragweed allergy season will help to alleviate symptoms.

Your allergist can start you on allergy shots to become immune to allergic reaction to ragweed pollen.

Contact Dermatitis from Flowers:

 Clematis

Clematitis - Irritant dermatitis

Clematis – Irritant dermatitis

Clematis  is a colorful evergreen deciduous seen as twining climbers; they are often cultivated, and grown in trellises. Clematis can cause irritant dermatitis due a certain chemical present in the flowers and plants. Usually fresh plants only carry the chemical that can cause dermatitis. For more images of Clematis to help you identify visit here.

Dahlia

Dahlia

Dahlia

Dahlias are beautiful plants that add to the visual pleasure in our backyards.These are perennials, and they provide colors to our back yards foryears.  However, there have been reports of allergic dermatitis of face andmouth and hands on those who handle Dahlias. These are reports of air-bornecontact dermatitis. Rarely, when patients come to the office with rashes, weare unable to locate the source of it. Allergy tests for common allergens maybe negative. It helps to know that common flowers which we do not associatewith allergies could be connected to a rash. Only patients can know if theyare exposed to these uncommon sources of allergies. Test for Dahlia allergyis not commonly available. Patch tests are used to make a diagnosis forcontact allergic reactions.       For more images of Dahlia plants to help you identify visit here.

Euphorbia Plants

Euphorbia - contact dermatitis

Euphorbia – contact dermatitis

Euphorbia irritant dermatitis

Euphorbia irritant dermatitis

Euphorbia are attractive plants raised in home gardens. At times we do not know what causes a skin allergy or contact dermatitis. The contact with these plants can rarely cause a skin reaction due to irritant dermatitis or contact dermatitis in those with allergy to this plant. For more images of related Euphorbia plants go here.


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