In mid to late summer, many people suffer from allergies. But only a few of them know what is the exact cause of their allergy. Goldenrod, a mass of golden flowers is a rich flowering plant often blamed for allergies. In this article, we will dive into the world of allergies and discuss goldenrod allergy in detail.
In people with Goldenrod allergies, the body’s immune system mistakenly identifies the goldenrod pollen as a harmful substance. In return, the immune system starts to produce chemicals (histamine) to combat the pollen.
This is known as an allergic reaction to goldenrod and the specific pollen that causes it is an allergen.
Goldenrod blooms in late summer and autumn and is a familiar wildflower. It gives a bright yellow color to many pastures, fields, and roadsides. It belongs to the family Asteraceae and the genus Solidago, most species in this genus are native to North America.
These plants are perennial and are spread by rhizomes. Their tiny seeds ripen after blooming and the wind distributes them. Goldenrod is insect pollinated various bees, butterflies, and other insects take part in the pollination process that visits in search of nectar.
Goldenrod Allergy Symptoms
The signs of goldenrod allergy may relate to other pollen allergy symptoms. You may experience symptoms immediately or within an hour after contact with the goldenrod plant.
The symptoms of goldenrod allergy vary from person to person. Sensitive persons are more likely to get an allergy to goldenrod (solidago). The common symptoms you can experience are:
- Runny, itchy nose and nasal congestion
- Red, itch, and watery eyes or allergic conjunctivitis
- Itchy mouth, throat, and palate
- With direct contact, itchy and red skin
Like other pollen allergies the most severe symptoms of goldenrod allergy are:
- Difficult Breathing
- Chest Tightness
- Severe itchiness
Goldenrod vs Ragweed
Goldenrod and ragweed resemble in many cases or they have several similarities. Both of these belong to the same family of flowering plants and bloom at the same time. But, there are some differences that goldenrod produces bright yellow flowers which attract pollinating insects.
On the other side, ragweed produces green flowers which do not attract pollinators. The vibrant blooms of goldenrod make it stand out from the landscape, which is why people often blamed it for causing allergies.
Most people often blamed goldenrod for itchy or watery eyes, runny nose, and other symptoms. Allergy to goldenrod is a myth but it doesn’t mean it does not exist. Very sensitive people may be the victim of these allergic reactions or may develop allergic symptoms.
Many people believe that the true culprits are ragweed pollen. While bees, butterflies, and other pollinators get benefits from goldenrod.
Ragweed pollen is light and tiny and can travel widely but goldenrod pollen is too large to fall from the plant. But still, people continue to give goldenrod a bad rap.
The treatment of allergic reactions to goldenrod depends on the severity of the symptoms. You should contact your professional allergist immediately if you are suspected of symptoms.
Your allergist will start your treatment after the diagnosis of allergy. He will ask you about your medical history and will perform a physical test.
Besides this, he will do a blood test or skin prick test to identify the allergen. After the tests, if you have an allergy to a specific allergen, he will give you medical advice or prescribe medicines.
If you have severe goldenrod allergy symptoms, contact your doctor immediately. He will give you over-the-counter medicines and will prescribe you beneficial pills. In very rare cases, allergy shots can be given to patients with severe symptoms.
The best way to get rid of allergies is to avoid allergens but in this case, it is impossible to avoid them. Because the pollens are everywhere in our surroundings. However, you can minimize or reduce the reaction rate by using some tips.
- Avoid direct contact with the specific plant you are allergic to.
- You can reduce exposure to pollen by wearing goggles and face masks.
- Reduce your outside activities in a time of high pollen count.
- Keep windows and doors closed and use the air conditioner.
- Rinse your face or take a bath with fresh water when coming from outside.
These tips will help you to avoid allergies and if you already have an allergy these will reduce it.
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