Scientists are discovering that if you have year-round allergies, for example, dog, cat or dust mite allergies, you’ll be hit extra hard once ragweed season rolls along.
The study, which put 123 people with ragweed allergy in a specially-controlled room with their allergen for three hours, found that those who were also allergic to dogs, cats and dust mites developed symptoms faster, or experienced stronger symptoms, than those who didn’t have the other allergies.
However, the differences between the two groups lessened as the hours went on (they filled out questionnaires every 30 minutes) suggesting that once ragweed season is in full swing, everyone is affected equally.
Lead author of the study, Dr. Anne Ellis, and her team at Kingston General Hospital in Ontario suggest that to avoid this early, intense reaction, ragweed, allergy sufferers should treat their other allergies with immunotherapy or year-round allergy medication.
Another option is to limit exposure to dogs or cats leading up to ragweed season.