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Watch out, ragweed season expected to be worse than previous years in Northeast Ohio

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Posted at 6:28 AM, Aug 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-28 18:19:55-04

CLEVELAND — Many of us love pumpkin spice, corn mazes, and haunted houses during the fall-, but there’s one thing we can all agree to hate-—ragweed.

Ragweed season normally begins around Labor Day. Dr. Sandra Hong, an allergist with the Cleveland Clinic, said this season is expected to be worse than past years.

The wet spring and summer can be blamed for more ragweed growing this year.

Dr. Hong said ragweed pollen affects more people than any other allergen.

“People can absolutely be miserable and it’s tough because all the kids have just gone back to school,” she said. “All of the kids are passing around their cooties, anyways, so they get this kind of sinus infection and illness, but on top of that a lot of these kids probably do have allergies.”

The normal symptoms are sneezing, runny nose, cough, but Dr. Hong said the thing that sets allergies apart from your normal cold is the itching.

“They’re rubbing at their eyes. They’re rubbing at their noses,” she said. “It’s someone who had it year after year after year.”

Dr. Hong said ragweed is particularly bothersome because it can affect kids in school.

“So the little ones and the big ones aren’t really sleeping well at night. They’re miserable. Their nose is stuffed they can’t really focus so when they’re in school it makes it just harder to concentrate on the things they’re supposed to be doing,” said Dr. Hong.

It also can affect kids after school during their extra curricular activities.

“If they’re in football, or lacrosse, or cross country, they’re running out in that pollen so they’re not really able to go to their full extent and they may not be actually playing to the top of their game.”

Dr. Hong recommends treating allergies with nasal steroid sprays, and if that doesn’t work, trying an antihistamine.

If no over-the-counter options work, see your doctor.