Tips to help alleviate ragweed allergies

We are entering into ragweed season and if you find yourself congested and sneezing lately, you might be allergic.

It's typically seen in late summer to early fall. If you're not sure if you have allergies or a cold, one tell-tale sign of allergies is if you feel itchy.

"Because of the way allergy cells work when they're activated, they secrete itchy chemicals so that's one way sort of a rule of thumb allergy is present as opposed to a viral infection or a cold, is how itchy are you?" said Dr. Alice Hoyt, allergist at Cleveland Clinic.

Allergists recommend a three-step approach.

First, use a saline spray to rinse pollen out of the nose. Second, a steroid nasal spray can reduce inflammation. You want to spray straight up or towards your ear. And third, an over-the-counter anti-histamine can help.

Also, the newer medications on the market will cause less drowsiness than the older ones.

Look for one that has 24-hour relief and if you have itchy eyes, you can also talk to your healthcare provider about getting eye drops that can help.

Ragweed plants typically stick around until after the first frost.
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