Pollen allergies are by far the most common type of allergies usually faced by people and treated by allergist specialists.
Pollen is a very fine powder that is produced by trees, plants, and grass that is used to fertilize the same plants of other species. Many people may suffer from allergic reactions when they breathe in an environment that contains pollen.
Pollen is itself a harmless substance, but in people who are prone to develop hypersensitivity/allergic reactions, the pollen may be identified as an intruder by the host immune response that generates an allergic reaction which produces a host of symptoms in the allergy sufferer.
Some people may suffer from allergies all year around while some may suffer from allergies at a specific time of the year.
Once developed, an allergy is unlikely to go away although symptoms may be under control after lifestyle modifications and medication use.
Pollen allergies are also referred to as hay fever or allergic rhinitis.
Types Of Pollen Allergy
There are roughly 100 types of pollen allergies but for now, we will narrow them down to the ones commonly seen in the general population:
Birch Pollen Allergy
Birch wood pollen is by far the most common air borne pollen allergen. It is usually seen mostly in the spring season, when the birch wood trees bloom. A single birch wood tree can release up to 5 million pollen grains which can travel up to 100 sq yards in the air.
Oak Pollen Allergy
Like birch wood, oak pollen is also frequently encountered in the spring and summer months. Although oak pollen is considered mildly allergic as compared to the latter, the pollen grains can stay in the air for longer periods of time.
Grass Pollen Allergy
Grass is the primary pollen allergen seen frequently in the summer months. It can cause severe and difficult to treat symptoms, but may be manageable by allergy shots and allergy medication.
Ragweed Pollen Allergy
Ragweed pollen is produced by weeds, and is frequently encountered in the spring and fall months. This pollen grain can survive mildly cold temperatures and can travel long distances in the air.
Symptoms Of A Pollen Allergy
Post allergy symptoms may include all or a combination of the following:
- Nasal congestion and occasionally post nasal dripping
- Sinus pressure and congestion
- Facial pain usually develops as consequence of sinus pressure
- A runny nose
- Frequent sneezing
- Watery eyes
- Occasional cough
- Swollen bluish colored skin beneath the eyes.
- Decreased sense of taste and smell
- Increased asthma reactions
- Occasional shortness of breath
- Respiratory distress
How Is A Pollen Allergy Diagnosed?
Pollen allergies can be a diagnosis based on clinical assumptions but more frequently your doctor may refer you to an immunologist. An immunologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing allergies and the inciting allergens.
- Your immunologist will usually do a physical examination and take a proper medical history.
- Make sure to tell your doctor about whether you experience these symptoms all year round or just seasonal.
- The allergist will usually perform a skin prick test to help in identifying the specific allergen responsible for the allergic reaction.
How Is A Pollen Allergy Treated?
With allergies, once they develop, there is no cure. Yes, with a little bit of care, lifestyle modifications and medications, you can reduce the intensity of symptoms you suffer from.
Minimize your exposure to pollen by wearing a face mask especially when you are outdoors near fields, parks and greenery. Also try to stay indoors when the season is windy. Close doors and windows of the house to limit the entrance of pollen within your house.
If you experience symptoms despite adequate control, try some allergy medications available over the counter, such as antihistamines, decongestants or a combination of the two.
If you suffer from severe allergies and the medicines just don’t seem to work, you can always try your luck at allergy shots. These shots are a form of immunotherapy that involve a series of injections of allergens that aim to sensitize the host immune response and decrease symptom severity.
Here is all you need to know about pollen allergies, causes, symptoms and treatments. Choose a credible allergy center Manassas for quick recovery and prevention from pollen allergy.