What is Ragweed Allergy?
Ambrosia (ragweed) is one of the major causes of pollen-induced allergy worldwide. Pollen associated with common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia; hereafter referred to as ragweed), an herbaceous plant native to North America, is allergenic. Ragweed represents a particular threat to allergy patients because each plant can produce up to one billion pollen grains annually and the pollen is a potent allergen Plants of Ambrosia artemisiifolia (American short ragweed), Ambrosia trifida (American giant ragweed), Ambrosia confertifolia, Ambrosia grayi and Ambrosia tenuifolia are increasingly found
When is the ambrosia season or the period when flowering ambrosia causes us the greatest inconvenience?
Flowering of the Ambrosias starts in mid-July and continues throughout the autumn.
How does ambrosia allergy occur?
The contact with ambrosia pollen induces first an allergic sensitization and later typical allergic symptoms.
Symptoms of Ragweed Allergy
Symptoms of Ragweed Allergy include:
– allergic rhinoconjunctivitis
– allergic asthma
Causes of Ambrosia Allergy?
– genetic predisposing factors, including parental and familial allergy
– exposure to allergens (e.g., pollens, house dust mite, and pet dander)
– microbial compounds
– air pollutants
How common is Ragweed Allergy
In the U.S., over 25% of the population is assumed to be sensitized to ragweed.
Ragweed has been introduced into Europe. In addition, research has indicated that ragweed pollen is likely to increase over much of Europe due to climate change with corresponding increases in ragweed allergy and longer pollen season. Across Europe, the population sensitized to ragweed is likely to more than double, from 33 to 77 million, by 2041–2060.
Diagnosis of Ragweed Allergy
There are a number of possible diagnosis procedures:
– Anamnestic data
– Laboratory tests (RAST etc.)
Treatment of Ragweed Allergy
Symptomatic treatment of allergic symptoms (local or systemic medication) by oral H1-antihistamines and leukotriene antagonists. The topical application of glucocorticoids has also been efficient in randomized controlled clinical trials.
Specific immunotherapy (SCIT=subcutaneous injection therapy/SLIT=sublingual immunotherapy)
Meanwhile sublingual immunotherapy is possibly with Ragwizax /ALK (daily for 3 years sublingually).
Risks of Ragweed Allergy
– Chronic rhinosinusitis with/whithout polyposis nasi
– Reduced quality of life