Ragweed allergy, commonly called “hay fever,” is one of the most common seasonal allergies triggered by pollen. Weeds in Minnesota pollinate in the late summer and fall, between July and October. Trees and grasses in Minnesota pollinate in the spring, between March and June.
Pollens, which cause the symptoms of seasonal allergies in sensitive individuals, are very small proteins derived from plants. Tree, grass or weed pollens are spread by wind. Large flowering plants such as roses are not common causes of seasonal allergies, although the scent may be irritating. Insects, not wind, spread pollen from flowering plants. Pollen granules from trees, grasses and weeds may be carried for up to 70 miles from their source of origin. Warm, dry, briskly moving air favors increased pollen levels, which are often highest in the early morning.
If you suffer from hay fever or other seasonal allergies, avoid pollen when possible. Keep a clean, pollen controlled, indoor environment.
Measures for controlling pollens include:<.p>
- Keep windows closed and use air conditioning. Make sure to clean and replace air conditioner filters monthly.
- Use air conditioning in the car instead of driving with the windows open.
- Remember to change and keep this filter clean as well.
- Avoid outdoor exercise early in the morning when pollen counts are highest.
- Dry clothes in a dryer instead of outdoors. Clothes dried outdoors may accumulate pollen on the clothing.
- Shower nightly or after prolonged outdoor exposure to prevent pollen from getting into bedding.
- Consider using a mask when working in the yard or garden.
- Keep animals out of the bedroom. Animals that go outside have pollen that sticks to their coat, which can deposit in the home.