Spring is a time for flowers to bloom and trees to burst with new greenery… yet, this beauty signals a nightmare for those who have pollen allergies. If you’re one of the millions of people who have seasonal pollen allergies, here are some things you should know.
Spring Is a Harsh Time for People with Pollen Allergies
What Are Pollen Allergies?
In the U.S, pollen is one of the most common triggers for seasonal allergies. It is calculated that 8.4% of children and 8.2% of adults were diagnosed with hay fever in 2015. Pollen is the very fine powder produced by plants, trees, grasses, weeds, and flowers to spread their seeds and fertilize other plants of the same species. This fine powder is light enough to travel through the air, which can be easily breathed in by people.
The immune system usually guards the body against infectious invaders such as viruses and bacteria to ward off infections. However, many people with pollen allergies tend to have an adverse immune response when they inhale the pollen. As their immune system mistakenly identifies this harmless pollen as dangerous invaders trying to get into the body, it results in a fight and, therefore, irritating symptoms such as:
- Watery, red, itchy eyes
- Swelling around the eyes
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Occasionally fever
- Nasal congestion
- Increased asthma attacks
- Sore or itchy throat
- Loss or decreased sense of smell or taste
Different Types of Pollen Allergies
There are hundreds of different species of plants that release pollen and are responsible for your allergic reaction.
During spring, birch pollen is one of the most common allergens in the air. As the catkins begin to bloom, their tiny pollen is scattered by the wind. A single birch tree can contain up to five million pollen grains, each of which can fly up to 100 yards from its parent.
While oak pollen is considered slightly allergenic compared to other tree pollen, it remains in the air for more extended periods. People with pollen allergies can have severe allergic reactions because of oak pollen.
It causes some of the most difficult-to-treat and severe symptoms. Allergy injections and allergy pills, according to the AAAAI, can be beneficial in reducing the effects of grass pollen allergies.
Treatments for Pollen Allergies
Pollen allergies rarely go away once developed, but the symptoms can easily be treated with allergy shots and medication thanks to advanced medical knowledge. Additionally, there are other treatments for this nightmarish condition:
- Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. Antihistamines prevent the body from producing histamine. Decongestants can help you breathe more efficiently if your nose is stuffy.
- Nasal irrigation. Using a neti pot to rinse out the mucus and pollen in your nose and airways with saline solution (saltwater) is a great way to flush out those annoying allergens.
- Allergy shots. If medication isn’t sufficient to ease the symptoms, then a shot is a better way to do it. Allergy shots are a form of immunotherapy that entails a sequence of allergen injections. The shots alter your immune system’s reaction to the allergen, reducing the intensity of allergic reactions. Within one to three years of starting allergy shots, you can feel full relief.
Though allergy can be very common, it can also be very dangerous in some cases. Therefore, you might need to keep an eye on your health, especially during this time of COVID. That’s why having a personal tool to help you monitor your health each time you cough is truly useful. Hyfe app is designed just for that.
Do you have pollen allergies? Or experience any kind of allergic reaction? Let us know in the comments section below!
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