How to beat your allergies during ragweed season

Between 10 and 30 percent of Americans suffer from hay fever and allergic rhinitis brought about by elevated levels of ragweed. Ragweed consists of pollen grains from the plant genus Ambrosia that can travel up to 400 miles on the wind.

Learn about ragweed season

Ragweed is present in every type of environment in all 50 states. It can cause serious allergic reactions from mid-August to late October, when the pollen levels reach their height.

Stay on top of ragweed allergies:

Check Pollen Counts

During spring and summer, pollen levels reach their highest levels in the evening. Ragweed pollen is just the opposite and will reach its peak in the morning during the late summer and early autumn. Be mindful of pollen counts before you head outdoors, and prepare beforehand for troublesome forecasts. Take an FSA-eligible antihistamine (with prescription) or other cold and allergy products.

Create a sterile indoor environment

Once pollen makes its way into your home through your windows or on your clothing, it can be next to impossible to remove it. You'd need to deep clean your house from top to bottom. To ensure that your home is as sterile as possible, keep your windows closed and air conditioning running (with a clean filter). An air purifier or dehumidifier may also help to reduce the frequency of allergic reactions during ragweed season.

Wash up!

After spending an entire afternoon outdoors, ragweed pollen grains will collect on your hair, clothing and other extremities. Pollen can also spread on your home's furnishings and trigger allergic symptoms. When you get home each day, set aside your clothing that has been exposed to the outdoors. Place it in or near the washing machine, and shower to remove ragweed pollen from your hair or skin.

Nasal irrigation

Blowing your nose to expel mucous and other irritants is a must during ragweed season. But, nasal irrigation 1-2 times per day can help, too. Saline solutions or salt water mixtures can clear out nasal passages, reduce inflammation and restore healthy moisture levels to these areas, and improve your overall comfort level.

Tip: Saline sprays and Neti pots are FSA-eligible, and can make a huge difference during ragweed season!

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