Your Pollen Allergy - How To Tackle It
If you have a pollen allergy, you are not alone. According to studies, approximately 1 out of every 10 people suffer from some sort of pollen allergy. In fact, those who have a pollen allergy are usually allergic to more than one type of pollen.
Because pollen comes from a variety of different plants and have evolved in a number of different ways, not all pollen are the same. However, the most common types of allergies to pollen are tree pollen allergies and grass pollen allergy.
Do you ever wake up just after the sun has risen and find that your nasal passages are stuffed and you're finding it hard to breathe? Sunrise is the worst time of the day for pollen allergy sufferers because that's when the pollen count is typically at its highest.
The most common treatment for pollen allergy is to take some form of antihistamines. A histamine is a chemical released by the body's mast cells. It causes tissues that it comes in contact with to become swollen and inflamed. Histamines are often triggered by allergens. The body, thinking it is under attack, releases a flood of histamines to combat the allergens. A side effect of this, of course, is to swell the nearby tissues around the nose, eyes, throats, Antihistamines, and so on - resulting in the types of reactions we commonly recognize as an allergy.
Pollen Allergy Symptoms
If you are sneezing or have a runny nose, if your eyes are watery, or you have congestion - you may be experiencing an allergic reaction. Those who spend a lot of time outdoors around plants, trees, grass, and who are prone to allergies will, no doubt, recognize these symptoms. The same is true for those that don't spend a lot of time outdoors, but who do like the windows open in their homes or apartments. With the advent of air conditioning and hermetically sealed buildings, many office workers manage to avoid breathing in these allergens - and may, in fact, not realize that they even have allergies.
The medical term for these symptoms is known as rhinitis. It's main manifestation is the inflammation of body tissues affected by the allergens and resulting in the symptoms listed above. The more common terms for these symptoms is hay fever.
Dangers of Pollen Allergy
The biggest danger that pollen allergens pose to the sufferer is that the symptoms could trigger asthma or other breathing problems and escalate into a life threatening situation. For milder hay fever symptoms, over the counter drugs are readily available. For more difficult occurrences, however, your doctor may need to prescribe stronger drugs such as steroids or other medications.
How To Handle Your Pollen Allergy
If you experience allergy symptoms but are uncertain if pollen is the cause, have your doctor give you an allergy test to determine the exact cause of your reactions and come up with a suitable solution. If your problem is acute, you should make it a habit to keep track of the daily pollen counts in your area and, as much as possible, arrange your schedule so that you don't come in contact with the allergens as much. Typically, you'll find that the pollen counts tend to be higher in the mornings and when the air is dry, warm, and slightly windy.
It may also help to keep the windows closed in your home and car. If you use central air conditioning, place filters over the air vents to prevent pollen from spreading all over the house. When doing outdoor work, you can use a pollen filtering mask to protect yourself from the airborne pollen.
Over the years, people have become much more comfortable with allergy shots to treat pollen allergies. It takes them a while to have an effect, but once they do - you'll notice a drastic decrease in your allergy symptoms. Typically you would start your shots prior to the hay fever season, but ask your doctor for her recommendation.
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