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Ragweed Allergy Season Gets An Early Start

August 13, 2012, 6:15 PM by Kellee Azar

Ragweed Allergy Season Gets An Early Start

The past few months have been a roller-coaster ride for allergy sufferers.

An early spring brought early budding for plants and weeds, and now our dry weather is giving ragweed season a head start.

The dog days of summer can make being outside downright uncomfortable. But aside from the sweat, the dry heat is also bringing an early start to a season many people dread: ragweed season.

"In reality though, we have already seen the allergy season with the weed starting. I think the dry hot everything has been going early.  It's already two or three weeks of a lot more symptoms.  It's also mold season too," Dr. Mark Bubak said.

Bubak says ragweed season typically doesn't start until the second week of August and sticks around for about six weeks. It's a long season, which makes people suffer from all kinds of symptoms.

"Allergy symptoms would be itchy eyes, itchy, sneezy, runny nose and for a lot of folks that have a bad case, it itches in the back of their throat and between their ears," Bubak said.

When it comes to finding relief, Bubak says prescription nasal steroids might be a good thing to ask your allergist about.

"The nasal steroids which work the best you have to start at the beginning of the season.  It takes two weeks to reach full effect and if they are not working well, a person should be doing allergy shots to help them out and become less allergic," Bubak said.

Someone hoping to find a way to be less allergic is 11-year-old Paige Raker. She's being tested to find out why she can't seem to dial back her allergies to cats and ragweed.

"I'm allergic to cats.  And I get really sneezy.  My nose starts to itch, and my nose gets plugged up," Raker said.

Raker is already getting an allergy shot once a month and is trying to keep a good attitude when it comes to the sniffling and sneezing.

"I've just learned to live with it," Raker said.

Bubak says ragweed season is something that plagues many people each and every year. And that's why he says if you've been known to suffer from it, you need to make sure you're getting ready to battle the season now.

"Big thing is keep the house closed up.  Don't open the windows even though it is nice out.  Antihistamines can help out quite a bit.  Probably the best thing is get on preventatively at the beginning of the season like nasal spray steroid," Bubak said.

Bubak says there are several types of nasal steroids you can look into with your allergist. He also says allergy shots are about a five-year course, so if you're looking for something faster, you'll want to look into sprays instead.

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