Ragweed Pollen and Fall Allergies
Most cases of hay fever are caused by allergies to ragweed.
Your Ultimate Defense: Allergy Shots
The ultimate weapon against ragweed allergy (and allergies in general) is immunotherapy. In this tried-and-true therapy -- effective in about 85% of allergic rhinitis sufferers -- the patient receives a series of injections of the allergy-causing agent until the body no longer mounts an immune response.
The injections are typically given for several months before determining responsiveness to treatments
“By the end of three years, one-third of patients will be cured of their allergies, one-third will have a significant reduction in symptoms, and one-third will show little benefit," Franzese says.
In recent years, American doctors -- following the lead of their counterparts in Europe -- have begun treating ragweed allergy sufferers with sublingual immunotherapy instead of allergy shots. Drops of liquid are placed under the tongue.
Sublingual immunotherapy can be more convenient than traditional immunotherapy -- no need to come in for shots -- and it takes less time. Results are often seen within weeks or months.