Pollen are microscopic particles that are released from plants. Pollen is very light and can travel hundreds of miles. 15% of Americans have an allergy to Ragweed. Ragweed received it's common name from the ragged appearance of the plant. Ragweed season starts mid August and continues until the end of September. Ragweed grows all over the Midwest and each plant can produce a billion grains of pollen. Also, the pollen is so light and shaped like a whiffle ball that it can travel 400 miles away from the originating plant. The smaller size of the pollen grain also makes ragweed very allergenic and can induce symptoms of itchy eyes, itchy nose, sneezing, runny nose, post nasal drip. These allergy symptoms can also make asthma worse. Practicing good avoidance measures like keeping windows closed as much as possible and rinsing off after outdoor activity can be helpful in decreasing symptoms. Starting a steroid nasal sprays at the beginning of August can also help prevent inflammation in the nose from occurring due to the pollen exposure. If symptoms are not controlled, set up an appointment to discuss treatment options with the allergist. Treatment options like reviewing avoidance measures, adjusting medications, or discussing allergy shots can be very helpful!