If you have seasonal allergies, chances are you're allergic to the pollen that's bursting throughout New Jersey right now.

Ragweed season has begun, and current weather conditions are bringing on peak pollen counts. In turn, you may be experiencing the classic symptoms of irritated eyes, sneezing, nasal congestion and an itchy throat.

"It will persist for the next two to three weeks," said Leonard Bielory, professor of medicine, allergy, immunology and ophthalmology at Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine.

Ragweed will continue to pollinate until the first frost, Bielory said, but it's the "very high burst" that impacts allergy sufferers the most that's happening now. An ongoing study by Bielory and others points to a longer ragweed season these days compared to many years ago, due to climate change.

You won't find ragweed in your backyard. It's typically spotted in disturbed soil at locations such as construction sites and on the side of the road. But its pollen has the potential to travel dozens of miles.

"There's no county in New Jersey that's free from ragweed," Bielory said.

Three out of four Americans who have allergies are allergic to ragweed pollen.

Contact reporter Dino Flammia at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com.

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