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Many people in San Antonio regard spring as prime allergy season with many suffering from the pollen, dust, and dirt in the air. However, one type of pollen that wreaks havoc in the late summer and fall is ragweed. Its seasonality in San Antonio usually starts in early August and ends in mid-October, however, given the recent downpour of rain in September, it will likely persist throughoutOctober, particularly afflicting those who suffer from chronic sinusitis.
There are 17 species of ragweed in the U.S. The weeds typically bloom tiny green flowers that produce a lot of fine-powder pollen. The pollen can travel for hundreds of miles with one plant producing as much as one billion grains of pollen per season! Common ragweed can grow as tall as three to six feet. Its allergy symptoms are similar to many other pollen allergies and include:
● Runny nose
● Nasal congestion
● Irritated eyes
● Itchy throat
Ragweed is also a hay fever (allergic rhinitis) trigger which causes cold-like symptoms. Many people misdiagnose their symptoms as a cold and end up taking medication that does not help block the allergen in the air that is causing their symptoms.
The big question that crosses the mind of every allergy sufferer is, "How do I know if I am experiencing allergy symptoms or even just a cold?". In general, ragweed allergy is characterized by nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes. One of the common symptoms that can lead to confusion between ragweed allergy and the common cold is an acute loss of sense of smell.Smell loss is almost always associated with nasal congestion in those who are allergic to ragweed and often with those who have colds. However, a big differentiator is that you will never get a fever with allergies.
While there is no cure for seasonal allergies, there are highly effective treatments that can significantly reduce allergy symptoms including balloon sinuplasty. Balloon sinuplasty is considered state-of-the-art when it comes to relieving sinus problems. It helps open and widen sinus passages to relieve facial pain, pressure, headaches, and post-nasal drip. Contact our board-certified physicians in Otolaryngology to relieve the pain and pressure associated with chronic sinusitis!