How to Control Asthma Symptoms During Ragweed Season

Published: August 28, 2017
Photo: Getty

Q: My stepson has asthma that bothers him most during ragweed season. He also gets eye symptoms (conjunctivitis) in the fall. Although he’s on a controller medication, last September he had an asthma attack that landed him briefly in the ER. I’d like to help him get better control. What would you recommend?

Dr. Bassett: Ragweed pollen allergy affects approximately 20 million Americans, and other weeds and mold spores can contribute to the seasonal misery. Exposure to such potent triggers will have a direct impact on asthma, due to the “united airways” or “nose-lung” relationships.

The key is to have an allergist-directed, proactive approach to stop the madness.

In other words, plan out strategies to help your teen avoid exposures, and employ anti-allergy medications.

You’d be wise also to ask his allergist about immune-based therapies for allergy control, including injections and sublingual medications (which are now FDA approved for certain age groups).

Dr. Clifford Bassett, allergist and asthma specialist, is the Medical Director of Allergy & Asthma Care of New York (; Twitter @allergyreliefny). He is on the faculty of NYU School of Medicine and Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.

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