When people think of allergy season in Houston, they typically think of spring. As winter comes to an end and flowers start to bloom, pollen levels are extremely high, leaving you susceptible to the worst symptoms allergies can bring.
So, if pollen levels are down and the flowers are dying – not blooming – this late in the year, why do you still suffer from nasal congestion, itchy eyes, and sneezing attacks on a regular basis?
The answer is that, quite simply, fall allergy triggers are much different from spring allergy triggers, but they bring on similar symptoms all the same.
Fall Allergies: Ragweed Reactions
Two different types of pollen typically cause allergic reactions throughout the warmer seasons of the year: grass pollen and tree pollen, but have you ever heard of weed pollen – specifically ragweed?
Ragweed is a flowering plant commonly found in the Midwest and in the east, though the weed-plant is located across the entire United States – including here in Houston, Texas. This is one of the most common allergy triggers during the fall season because ragweed, unlike tree plants, releases pollen in August, and its effects worsen when nights are cool and days are warm. If you suffer from allergic reactions in the fall, it’s likely that you – like one in every five people – are triggered by ragweed.
One ragweed plant can release over a billion grains of it into the air. While ragweed is more densely located in certain areas, these grains can travel hundreds of miles in the wind, making its reach practically universal.
Things to Know About Ragweed
- Ragweed triggers asthma. If you have asthma, it is especially important to limit contact with the plant and its pollens. Continue to pay attention to pollen levels during August, September, and October, as high levels could be dangerous.
- There are food triggers. Certain fruits and seeds have proteins that are similar to ragweed proteins, thus making people who consume them susceptible to allergic reactions. Some of these foods include bananas, melons, honey, and sunflower seeds.
- Ragweed travels in the wind, so change your clothes and wash your hands after being outside. Because of the way ragweed gets around, there is a good chance you’ll carry the pollen with you if you don’t regularly wash your hands and clothes after spending time outdoors. This also means you should not dry your laundry outside; instead, opt for using the dryer.
Do You Actually Have an Allergy Problem that Warrants Medical Attention?
Allergies range from annoying to deadly, depending on the person affected, so it is fair to ask when you should seek medical attention from your local emergency room or ER, like Houston Heights Emergency Room.
The truth is that most people are not affected by ragweed, which is by far the most common allergen during the fall season. With only one in five people suffering from ragweed-related symptoms, there’s usually no causes for serious concern when you feel like you’re having an allergy-related flare-up.
When the seasons change, your body needs time to adjust. Your blood pressure may change, headaches could spike, and you may feel more inflammation throughout the body during the transition from summer to fall and fall to winter. There is no need to be alarmed by this change, and the only times you need to seek medical assistance are when A. your situation worsens, or B. when you’ve been diagnosed with an allergy-related condition in the past, such as asthma.
That said, people are affected by ragweed. People do suffer from allergy-related symptoms late in the year, and they aren’t sure how to handle these flare-ups. If you feel like you are suffering from common ER symptoms and need to seek medical attention for your condition, Houston Heights Emergency Room is here to help get you through this time of year in a way that allows you to enjoy the beautiful weather outdoors, not suffer.
To learn more about whether your condition is severe enough to warrant a trip to the emergency room, contact Houston Heights Emergency Room, located in Houston, Texas, at 713-588-0320.