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University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Publish Date: 08/28/00
Media Contact: AHC Public Relations, (513) 558-4553
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Relief For Ragweed Sufferers

Cincinnati--From August until October, ragweed season reigns throughout the Ohio River valley. "People who are allergic to ragweed can be miserable this time of year," says David Bernstein, MD, professor of Immunology, Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. "Ragweed pollen is the most common cause of allergic rhinitis and pollen asthma in North America," says Bernstein. "Symptoms of allergic rhinitis include dark circles under the eyes due to nasal congestion, tearing eyes, obstructed nasal passages, sore throats, and ear aches. Allergic rhinitis can lead to sinusitis, ear infections, and flares of asthma in those with strong allergic reactions."

Bernstein's advice to decrease ragweed allergy symptoms:

  • Limit outdoor activities to the evening because ragweed pollen levels are highest in the morning.

  • Remain in air conditioning, whenever possible.

  • See a physician to treat current symptoms. Some prescription medications can help minimize symptoms and have fewer side effects than others.

  • Over-the-counter antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal sprays may provide some relief. "Read and Heed" labels on all medications before attempting to drive.

For more information, call Bernstein at (513) 558-3612.

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