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Ragweed allergy season arrives in central Indiana

(WISH PHOTO/by Drew Narsutis)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Central Indiana residents are bracing themselves to struggle through ragweed season as the pesky pollen-producing plant begins to bloom across the region.

With its arrival, many individuals are likely to experience the symptoms of hay fever, causing discomfort for those affected. As the ragweed pollen count rises, here’s what you need to know about hay fever symptoms and how to cope with them.

Ragweed allergy season typically kicks off in late summer and extends into the fall, making this time of year particularly challenging for individuals prone to hay fever. Ragweed, a common weed found in fields, gardens, and roadsides, releases abundant pollen grains into the air, triggering allergic reactions in susceptible individuals.

Symptoms of Hay Fever

Symptoms of hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, can vary in severity but often include sneezing, congestion, runny or itchy nose, watery eyes, and an itchy throat. These symptoms can significantly impact one’s quality of life, causing fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and disrupted sleep patterns. For those with pre-existing respiratory conditions such as asthma, ragweed allergies can exacerbate their symptoms and lead to further breathing difficulties.

To manage hay fever symptoms during ragweed allergy season, experts recommend several strategies. Firstly, it is advisable to limit outdoor activities during peak pollen times, typically in the morning and early evening when pollen counts are higher. Keeping windows closed and using air conditioning can also help reduce the amount of pollen entering indoor spaces. Additionally, regularly washing clothes and bedding can minimize the presence of pollen particles.

Over-the-counter antihistamines and nasal corticosteroids are commonly used to alleviate hay fever symptoms. These medications help to reduce inflammation and block the release of histamines, which are chemicals that trigger allergic responses. However, it is crucial to consult a healthcare professional before starting any new medication to ensure proper usage and dosage.

For severe or persistent symptoms that do not respond to over-the-counter remedies, individuals are advised to seek medical attention. Allergists can conduct tests to identify specific allergens and develop personalized treatment plans, such as immunotherapy, to desensitize the immune system over time.

As ragweed allergy season gains momentum in central Indiana, it is essential for affected individuals to stay informed and take proactive steps to manage their hay fever symptoms. By following these precautions and seeking appropriate medical guidance, residents can make this time of year more bearable and enjoy the beauty of the changing seasons with minimal discomfort.