Feeling sneezy? See TODAY’S pollen count

CW39

KIAH

HOUSTON (KIAH) If you’ve been suffering from severe allergies in Houston lately, you’re more than likely not alone. It’s ragweed season.

But what is ragweed pollen?

Ragweed pollen comes from the ragweed plant, of which there are 17 species that grow in the United States. A ragweed plant only lives one season and although it typically dies after the first frost of the year, it packs a powerful punch. A single plant can produce up to 1 billion pollen grains.

These grains are very light weight and float easily through the air. Ragweed has been located 400 miles out to sea and two miles up into the atmosphere.

However, since the region is known for it’s drawn out falls and weak winters, Houston’s ragweed season can be especially long. Houston’s ragweed counts are typically highest from August to October. So avoiding the weed may be impossible. But there are ways to limit your exposure and lower your risk of symptoms.

Ragweed Symptoms

  • Runny nose
  • Itchy throat
  • Headache
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy eyes
  • It can also trigger asthma flares.

Things you can do

  • Track pollen counts and stay inside when they’re high.
  • Avoid peak ragweed hours. Limit your time outside between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Counts are lower in the early morning and late afternoon.
  • Change your clothes and wash your hands after you’ve been outside. Ragweed can stick t skin or clothing.

Watch out for trigger foods

Eating foods that contain similar proteins to ragweed pollen proteins can make symptoms worse. Below is a list of possible triggers:

  • Bananas
  • Melons
  • Honeydew
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Chamomile

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