Are you struggling with a runny nose, sore throat and itchy eyes? Guess what, you’re not alone. Studies show that more than 60 million Americans suffer from allergic rhinitis. Allergy season is in full blast and we’ve found who’s to blame: pollen. Pollen might be the reason you’re staying indoors with a clogged nose while everyone else is outside hiking and smelling flowers. Below we explain everything you need to know about pollen.
Pollen is a Powerful Powder
First and foremost, it is important to understand what pollen is so you know what you’re up against. Just like flour or cumin, pollen is a fine powder and contains the cells of seed plants. Simply put, pollen is the way plants reproduce and it’s carried through the air in huge quantities. If you suffer from allergies, pollen is the allergen you should blame since it can land in your eyes, nose or on your skin.
Pollen Can Cause Allergies
The allergy to pollen is called hay fever and it’s technically a mistake. This fever occurs when the immune system mistakes a harmless airborne substance as a threat and treats it as an invader. The allergic reaction begins in the immune system, which protects us from invading organisms that can cause illness. Common allergy symptoms include watery and itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing and sometimes headaches. If you suffer from hay fever, you could be be affected by the pollen in different plants such as grasses, trees and weeds.
Every Season is Pollen Season
Sorry guys, pollen isn’t just a Spring Fling. Symptoms of hay fever can start at many different times of the year. In springtime, pollen might begin its release in January and extend to May. Springtime pollen mainly comes from trees, such as elm and pine. The amount of pollen released in the air depends on your climate and location. Summertime pollen comes from grass and is released between May and August. In the fall, pollen comes from weeds, such as ragweed, and it ends in October or November.
Depending on where you live, the allergy pollen count may vary and can affect your sensitivity and allergic reactions. You can track the pollen levels in your area to help you manage your allergies. If you’re planning a trip, remember to not only check the weather forecast, but the allergy forecast as well.
Tackle Your Allergies
Make sure to head over to your local MedPost to discuss allergy-relief options with an expert. Your care provider will go over different options and you’ll be able to discuss treatments that will best fit your needs. Here are some steps you can take to limit your contact with pollen:
- Check your local pollen count and limit your time outdoors when the counts are high.
- Keep your air conditioner filters as clean as possible.
- If you’re going on vacation, use your allergy forecast to choose places and times of the year when pollen counts won’t be high.
Whether you live in a high-pollinated area or not, there is no reason for you to stay indoors while everyone else is enjoying the outdoors! Just make sure to check allergy forecasts and pollen count reports and you’ll be on your way to a healthy future.