Ontario Lung Association

Ontario Lung Association

August 06, 2009 12:42 ET

Ontario Lung Association: Here's Looking Atchoo!

Ragweed Season is Here

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 6, 2009) -

Editor's Note: There is a photo and a video associated with this release.

Saying good bye to summer can bring a tear and a sniffle to many people, especially those who suffer from allergies. The approach of fall signals ragweed season and, as if there weren't enough reasons for wanting to blunt global warming, the increase in ragweed pollination due to higher carbon dioxide levels, offers one more for people with respiratory problems.

Ragweed offers a tan-green flower, intricately ragged leaves (thus the name) and reaches up to 1.5 m in height. Quite unmemorable in appearance, ragweed can be regularly found along roadsides as well as urban and rural gardens. Each ragweed plant produces up to one billion pollen grains each season, with the highest levels being found in the mornings between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. on hot, dry windy days.

Ragweed pollen can be carried hundreds of kilometres away as can other parts of the plant that are not normally measured. And since pollen reports only give trend information, there can be many variables that can increase or decrease your exposure levels.

"If you have asthma or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) you need to pay particular attention to how you are feeling during ragweed season," says Carole Madeley, director of Respiratory Health Programs for Ontario Lung Association, "since air pollution can irritate lungs, making the allergic reaction to ragweed even worse."

Madeley offers these simple tips to survive ragweed season:

- Keep windows closed when pollen counts are high - if necessary, use air conditioning to stay cool

- Take any required medications as directed

- If you have asthma or COPD, have your healthcare provider give you a written action plan so you know what to do if your symptoms get worse.

For more ways to help you get through ragweed season, call the Ontario Lung Association's Helpline at 1-888-344-LUNG (5864) or visit www.on.lung.ca.

To view the video associated with this release, please visit the link below: www.youtube.com/watch?v=pv6qMu9qBrc.

To view the photo associated with this release, please visit the link below: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20090806-lung800.jpg.

Contact Information

  • Ontario Lung Association
    Media inquiries:
    Karen Petcoff
    416-864-9911 ext 283