Serious Ragweed Reaction

By Heather Legg

I know that allergies can be very serious. I know that certain foods and insects can cause anaphylactic reactions in certain people, worst case scenario being death. I also know that many people have environmental allergies. While these aren’t usually as serious, they can be very uncomfortable, annoying, and interfere with the quality of life one has. However, today, I just heard of a very serious reaction to a ragweed reaction, one I never considered.

After school was out today, I ran into a good friend of mine who has two daughters, 11 and 8. As we checked in on each other’s kids and what they were doing, she said, “Do I have a story tell.”

Here’s what happened. Her younger daughter has ragweed allergies. And as many of us are aware of, the ragweed is out. Some symptoms are congestion, runny eyes, itchy throat and sneezing. With the congestion and sneezing, the membranes of the nose become irritated, just like with a cold. And with irritated nasal membranes, bleeding can occur.

My friend was home with her daughters over Labor Day, and the younger one had a nosebleed. Not so unusual for a child, allergies or not, but she felt sure it was due to the allergy symptoms she was experiencing. It didn’t last long and they got it under control, but then her nose began to bleed again. Neither bleeding was alarming in and of itself, but as the second one was waning, my friend’s daughter began to feel dizzy. Then she was hot and turned pale. Then her eyes rolled back in her head and my friend called 911. The little girl never officially passed out, but came very close to it.

The medics got there and things were getting under control. As they asked about precursors, they determined that the fainting or near fainting was a reaction to the sight of her own blood. And why did her nose bleed like that? Allergies, they deduced.

They gave her a thorough exam and nothing showed up. Just ragweed allergies. Wow!

According to www.kidshealth.org, nosebleeds are a result of allergies. The nasal passages are swollen (congestion) and the blood vessels, already tiny, are put under more pressure. Any blowing or rubbing can cause a nosebleed. So what can you do? Make sure you treat the allergy symptoms, through medication, a neti pot, whatever works for you. If you or your child needs new treatment, see your doctor or pediatrician.

No one wants to experience what my friend did.

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