Pollen allergies affect tens of millions of Americans who suffer from symptoms caused by exposure to trees, grass and weed pollens.
- Pollen is a fine yellowish powder that is transported from plant to plant by the wind, by birds, by insects or by other animals. The spread of pollen helps to fertilize plants — and can also mean misery for seasonal allergy sufferers.
What are the symptoms?
When you breathe in pollen-heavy air, you may experience symptoms such as:
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Itchy throat and eyes
Increased coughing and wheezing can also have aggressive asthma symptoms.
How can I treat pollen allergies?
There are several ways to treat pollen allergies. Allergy shots can help build resistance to pollens. Tablets can also be used but must be taken 12 weeks before the symptoms begin to reduce symptoms.
There are many different types of pollen that can add to a high pollen count overall. Even if there is a high pollen count, it does not automatically mean you are allergic to a specific pollen.
What are the different types of pollen allergies?
Birch Pollen Allergies
One of the most common airborne allergens in the spring is birch pollen allergies. Small grains of pollen are scattered by the wind when trees bloom. Up to five million pollen grains can be produced from just a single birch tree, traveling over 100 yards from the original tree.
Oak Pollen Allergies
Oak trees also send pollen into the air during the spring. It stays in the air for longer periods of time but is considered mildly allergenic compared to other pollen types.
Grass Pollen Allergies
During the summer months, the grass is the primary trigger of pollen allergies. Compared to other pollen types, it causes some of the most severe and difficult-to-treat symptoms.
Ragweed allergies are most active between the late spring and fall months. They are the most common allergies among weed pollens. This type of pollen can travel hundreds of miles and can even withstand the winter season.