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Pollen Allergy

Get A Grip On Ragweed Allergy

How to beat the Weed
1. Pull out ragweed in and around your property no later than the end of July. This prevents flowering and the spread of its harmful pollen.

2. Remove or mow down ragweed plants wherever you see them. Seeds can survive for 40 years, so eliminating the weeds is crucial.

3. Check pollen forecasts, and plan outdoor activities for days when counts are low.

4. Minimize time outdoors during the middle of the day, when counts are the highest.

5. Keep pollen out by closing doors and windows, and using air conditioning and HEPA air filters.

6. Wash hands frequently; take a shower and change clothes after being outside.

7. Do not hang laundry outside; it will collect pollen.

8. Talk to your allergist about treatment options and develop a plan of action before allergy season hits.

Relief in a Pill

The first line of medical defense against ragweed is over-the-counter antihistamines. There are several types on the market, which work differently for different people, say prominent allergists. Steroid-based, prescription nasal sprays are also a good solution.

For long-term relief of more severe symptoms, your allergy or asthma specialist may recommend pre-season immunotherapy.

Sources: AAAAI, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, The Lung Association

First published in Allergic Living magazine.
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