Looking for Ragweed In Nova Scotia
Wednesday September 19th 2007, 11:18 am

I spent the day yesterday trying to locate ragweed in the area I live, which is close to the coast in Nova Scotia. We went to Fishermen’s Cove in Eastern Passage yesterday afternoon and I took pictures of the flowers, which I thought could be ragweed, and which grow in the marshlands close to the water. The flowers all looked the same but they had three different types of leaves. Unfortunately, my research determined that all of these wild flowers were different types of goldenrod. None of my pictures resembled the leaves of the ragweed. I did discover that the flower of the ragweed isn’t much of a flower. It is tiny and light green in color, and isn’t as beautiful as the goldenrod flower. The next time I go looking for ragweed, I will look for the leaves instead of the just the flowers.

I may not have the found any ragweed yesterday but something certainly found me. I had the worst bout of hay fever last night that I have had in years. I took Aerius, Nasacort nasal spray and Breathe Right nasal strips but nothing worked. It took me hours to get to sleep because I couldn’t breathe and kept sneezing. By the time I woke this morning, all the symptoms were gone. There must have been ragweed, or something growing in those marshlands, that I am very allergic to.

According to allergy specialists in Nova Scotia, ragweed allergen is rare here, but common in central Ontario. If that is the case, what am I so allergic to this time of year? The most common allergen in Nova Scotia is birch tree pollen and dust mites. There are more dust mites in Nova Scotia than in other parts of Canada due to our humid and temperate climate. I had a severe allergy to dust mites until I had regular allergy shots several years ago. The allergy shots reduced my symptoms to dust by 90%, for which I am very grateful. I wish I could find something as effective for hay fever. However, I wouldn’t go through having the allergy shots again for something which effects me only a few weeks every year.

As bad as I feel with hay fever this time of year, it’s not going to stop me from enjoying the outdoors, but I may put off looking for that ragweed for now. The only way to avoid hay fever is avoidance of the allergens, but I want to enjoy these last few days of summer as much as I can.

Have a great day,
Anne