Aaaaachooooooo!August 23rd, 2012 at 9:40 am by T.J. Del Santo under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog
Have you been sneezing or coughing a lot? Watery eyes? Runny nose? Sinuses hurt? Have a headache? Did all this start recently this summer? You are probably allergic to ragweed. Ragweed season typically starts on August 15th, but in recent years it has started earlier.
Ragweed is a plant that can grow just about anywhere….yards, gardens, cracks of sidewalks, on the sides of highways. One plant can produce billions of pollen grains! For those who are allergic to those tiny grains, their body’s immune systems think the pollen is dangerous. Their immune systems fight it…and the effects are the sneezing, watery eyes and coughing…
Ragweed flourishes after a wet spring, which we didn’t have this year. Warm temperatures, high humidity and light winds allow these plants to grow even better…as these factors aid in the fertilization process. That lack of moisture will limit the amount of ragweed around this year, but conditions recently have been perfect for the plant to grow. While the ragweed plant population may not be higher than normal this year, the plant is still here and people are still suffering, as a result. Another problem is ragweed pollen can travel for hundreds of miles! It’s so light, the wind can easily bring it from, say, western Pennsylvania to Rhode Island!
What if you are allergic to the pesky plant? Allergy doctors have always told me to do the following…
- Track the pollen count every day (Pollen.com is a good site)
- Stay indoors when the pollen count is high
- Keep windows and doors closed when the pollen count is high
- Use an air purifying machine with a HEPA filter
- Take your medications as directed by your allergist.
-T.J. Del Santo