It is estimated that almost half of the world’s population suffers from some form of allergy. Of that number, 75% of people are allergic to ragweed pollen. Ambrosia begins to bloom in late summer. Ambrosia is an annual weed that arrived in Europe via North America. It has been spreading at high speed ever since. The rate of spread of ragweed is favored by climate change with dry and warm summers.
Ambrosia begins to bloom in mid-August producing a large number of pollen grains. One plant releases about 8 million pollen grains into the air during one season. Pollen grains are extremely mobile. They can be found at a distance of more than one kilometer. This is affected by the aerodynamic shape of the pollen grain (the shape of a ball with small spikes on the surface). Ambrosia pollen is a pronounced allergen. 20 to 30 pollen grains are enough to cause allergic reactions in a sensitive person. Reactions are most often presented by allergic rhinitis. Typical symptoms of allergic rhinitis are sneezing, itchy nose, nasal discharge, swollen nasal mucosa and difficulty breathing through the nose. The symptoms of allergic rhinitis are not dangerous, although they have a great impact on the affected person. 66% of patients stated that the symptoms negatively affect everyday life. 1 in 3 patients do not go to work. About 35% of patients stated that their symptoms interfere with the performance of daily duties and obligations. They reduce human productivity.
The most effective measure is the systematic destruction of ragweed using herbicides or uprooting the plant (before the beginning of the flowering season). This has a limited effect because the wind can bring pollen grains from distant locations. It is advised to avoid staying outdoors in the early morning hours (when the concentration of ragweed is highest). After staying in nature, clothes and hair should be washed to remove pollen dust. During the flowering of ragweed, it is desirable to stay at high altitudes (more than 800 meters) or at sea (ocean) where there is very little or no ragweed. Relief for ragweed sufferers is brought by autumn rains and the first frosts. Or some medicine (vitamin) that is issued without a doctor’s prescription (histamine) and helps people with allergic rhinitis.