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Ragweed Allergy Season

National Allergy Contest Winner Welcome to the September edition of the National Allergy E-Mail Newsletter. Ragweed Allergy Season is here, as evidenced by my itchy eyes and nasal congestion. I want to help you stay symptom-free this fall by sharing some seasonal allergy facts and education: If you're new to the newsletter or you'd like to reread any of our newsletters, check out our newsletter archive. Don't forget, at the beginning of each month we give away an Austin Air HM-400 Air Purifier, valued at $449.99, to one lucky subscriber. So tell your friends and family to sign up, and be ready for an e-mail or call from me if you're selected as our winner! Click here for a list of previous winners.

National Allergy September Coupon

Katie Weaver
& The National Allergy Newsletter Team


What Is Pollen & Why Does It Make You Sick?

What Is Pollen?
Pollens are the male reproductive cells of plants. The troubling pollens for allergy sufferers are those of trees, grasses and weeds as opposed to flowering plants. While flowering plants depend on insects to carry their heavy, waxy pollen granules from plant to plant, trees, grasses, and weeds produce light, dry pollen granules that are designed to travel with the wind to pollinate other plants.

Trees, grasses and weeds combine to release pollen from early spring to early fall, although several factors affect the timing and degree of the pollen season. The time when a given species of plant pollinates is based on the relative length of days and nights. So, the same plant will pollinate earlier in the South and later in the North. Weather conditions also play a role in how much pollen a plant produces and are the primary cause of the varying severity of the pollen season from year to year.

Pollen - Not Just A Springtime Enemy
Beginning around August 15th, airborne pollen from a variety of weeds makes its way into the air we breathe. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), ragweed pollen is most responsible for the spike of allergy symptoms in the fall.

Ragweed is commonly found in fields and along roadsides, but city-dweller's are not immune: pollen grows abundantly in vacant lots as well. While there are almost no areas in the U.S. that are ragweed-free, a few cities in the Pacific Northwest have little to no ragweed allergy season. Residents of the Midwest suffer with some of the highest ragweed concentrations.

The two most prevalent species of ragweed are known as "short ragweed" and "giant ragweed." They can range in size from 2 to 15 feet tall and product millions of pollen spores. Unlike some of spring's most prevalent pollens, the pollen grains produced by ragweed are nearly invisible to the naked eye. Unfortunately, your body will know they are there and react to them like foreign invaders with puffy eyes, a runny nose and other allergy symptoms. In addition to ragweed, other fall allergy offenders include Kentucky bluegrass, timothy grass, Bermuda grass and redtop grass. Most people who are allergic to pollen are usually sensitive to several different types.

What is Seasonal Rhinitis?
Seasonal allergic rhinitis or hay fever is caused when a person's immune system mistakenly identifies pollen as an intruder, much like bacteria or viruses. Once the body has identified a particular allergen as an intruder, it produces antibodies specific to that allergen and sends them to line the lungs, throat, nose, eyes, skin, and stomach. In the future, when that allergen enters the allergic person's body, it attaches to the antibodies and triggers the release of histamine. This release of histamine is what causes allergy symptoms. For me, that means watery eyes, a runny nose and sometimes a sticky throat.

A recent study found that more than half of Americans have allergies and, of those, 20% suffer from hayfever, also called pollen or ragweed allergy.

Top 10 Ragweed Avoidance Tips

  1. Use a high efficiency furnace filter to block pollen and other allergens.
  2. Cover your incoming vents with an electrostatic filter. It's a simple way to increase the filtration efficiency of your home's HVAC system.
  3. HEPA room air cleaners are often recommended by doctors for removing airborne allergens like pollen in the home. (Our Hunter QuietFlo Model 30401 is quiet and efficient.)
  4. Avoid being outdoors during pollen's peak times: between 10am and 4pm.
  5. Use a lightweight mask when tackling fall yard work projects since lots of allergens can be kicked up.
  6. Pollen will easily stick to your hair and body. Take a shower or bath after working or playing outside.
  7. Wash your clothes in hot water with an allergen-fighting detergent, and don't line dry them - they'll just collect more pollen.
  8. Outdoor pets can track pollen into the house. Wipe their coats off or bathe them with an anti-allergen shampoo to take care of pollen as well as dander and dust mite allergen, too!
  9. When driving, keep the windows closed as much as possible, and use re-circulated (as opposed to outside air) for cooling. A portable HEPA air cleaner with a DC adapter can provide efficient filtration on the go.
  10. Plan vacations to less pollen-prone areas like the beach. Check the National Allergy Bureau for daily pollen counts and forecasts for areas nationwide.

Top 5 Seasonal Allergy Relief Products

Nasopure Nasal Wash No matter how much you try, sometimes you just can't avoid pollen and its symptoms. If ragweed seems to be getting the better of you, try some of these simple, natural relief products.

  1. Any number of National Allergy's convenient Nasal Irrigation products will help you avoid allergic reactions and find relief by washing your nose of pollen, dust and other allergens.
  2. The Hydro Pulse Nasal/Sinus Irrigator is a doctor developed system that is often recommended for sinusitis patients. Its design offers pulsatile, thorough cleansing of the nose and sinuses that washes away pollen as well as germs, fungus and other sickness-causing particles.
  3. Our all-natural, non-addictive nasal sprays use ingredients like saline and xylitol to provide seasonal allergy symptom prevention and relief - at home or on the go.
  4. Solve sinus headaches with Sinol Spray with capsaicin. Its all-natural pepper-based formula offers sinus and allergy headache relief with a kick!
  5. If puffy, itchy eyes are a typical pollen allergy symptom for you, the MediBeads Sinus Wrap can provide soothing, moist heat relief for swollen eyes and sinus pressure.

Don't let ragweed bring you down! Use some of these drug-free techniques for avoidance and relief. And remember, keeping your home environment allergy-safe will make you less prone to reacting to outdoor allergens like ragweed. Here's to a sniffle-free September!

This information is for educational purposes only. Always consult with your doctor first about your specific condition, treatment options and other health concerns you may have.

Remember that our customer service representatives have plenty of experience guiding people through the options for allergy, asthma and sinus relief, so feel free to contact us by calling one of our phone experts at 1-800-522-1448 Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 am and 5:30 pm Eastern Time. You can also e-mail us at


This Month's Exclusive Offers - Expire 10/04/2006

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Keep your nose clean and your wallet happy this season. Save on our full range of sinus relief products including irrigators, saline and nasal relief sprays so you can make it through fall allergy season!   Our DustChek Vent Filtration Kit's electrostatic media traps medium to large allergens coming into the room through your ductwork. This month, subscribers get this easy-to-use solution (a $12.99 value) at no charge with any order over $90!

To take advantage of the offers in this newsletter, be sure to subscribe by clicking here. After confirming your subscription, you will have an opportunity to read the current newsletter complete with the promotional codes..

The National Allergy Educational E-Mail Newsletter is © 2006 National Allergy Supply, Inc. All Rights Reserved. No part of this Newsletter may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission.

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