Watch The Pollen Count
The best strategy for managing fall allergies is to avoid pollen whenever possible. A good way to do that is by checking the pollen count every day and planning your activities based on the air quality.
Online weather sites are good sources of information about the pollen. Just like a weather forecast, they show the predicted pollen count for the upcoming week, so you can plan accordingly.
Limit your time outdoors on days when the pollen count is high. Pollen is also highest in the morning and on dry, windy days, so plan to be outside late in the afternoon or after a heavy rain when the pollen count is down.
If youre not already taking anti-allergy medications on a regular schedule, take them before you go outside. Wearing sunglasses and a hat with a wide brim can also help to keep pollen out of your eyes.
Treating Severe Allergic Reactions
Some people with severe allergies may experience life-threatening reactions, known as anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock.
If you’re at risk of this, you’ll be given special injectors containing a medicine called adrenaline to use in an emergency.
If you develop symptoms of anaphylaxis, such as difficulty breathing, you should inject yourself in the outer thigh before seeking emergency medical help.
What Is The Treatment For Pollen Allergy
Certain over-the-counter and prescription medicines may help reduce pollen allergy symptoms.
- Antihistamines come in pill, liquid or nasal spray form. They can relieve sneezing and itching in the nose and eyes. They also reduce a runny nose and, to a lesser extent, nasal stuffiness.
- are available as pills, liquids, nasal sprays or drops. They help shrink the lining of the nasal passages and relieve nasal stuffiness. Use decongestant nose drops and sprays only on the short-term.
- Nasal corticosteroids are a type of nasal spray. They reduce inflammation in the nose and block allergic reactions. They are the most effective medicine type for allergic rhinitis because they can reduce all symptoms, including nasal congestion. Nasal corticosteroids have few side effects.
- Leukotriene receptor antagonists block the action of important chemical messengers that are involved in allergic reactions.
- Cromolyn sodium is a nasal spray that blocks the release of chemicals that cause allergy symptoms, including histamine and leukotrienes. This medicine has few side effects, but you must take it four times a day.
Many people with pollen allergy do not get complete relief from medications. This means they may be candidates for immunotherapy. Immunotherapy is a long-term treatment that can help prevent or reduce the severity of allergic reactions. It can change the course of allergic disease by modifying the bodys immune response to allergens.
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Easy Ways To Beat Seasonal Allergies When The Pollen Count Spikes
If your seasonal allergies are making you miserable this spring, you’re not alone. More than 50 million Americans experience allergies each year. The good news is there are measures you can take to minimize the impact of seasonal allergies.
Seasonal allergies are usually caused by three main types of pollen: trees, grass, and weeds. They’re called “seasonal allergies” because each type of pollen has a season where they’re most potent. Here’s a general timeline of common pollen seasons:
- Some outdoor molds also peak in the fall months
When you’re monitoring pollen counts for your specific allergy, here are 10 ways to cope:
Pollen counts tend to rise on dry, warm, and windy days, so if it’s breezy outside, try to stay indoors.
Pollen counts are highest in the morning and again at night, so if you need to go outside, try to do it when counts are low.
When it comes to seasonal allergies, it’s important to know exactly what you’re allergic to so you can take appropriate action.
“I have patients who come in saying they’re allergic to pets, then we perform a skin test and it turns out they’re actually allergic to oak trees or another pollen the pet is bringing inside on their fur,” says Erin Willits, MD, an allergist and immunologist at Intermountain Alta View Hospital.
Keeping A Record Of Your Symptoms
Keep a diary that describes your symptoms and when and where they occur. Your diary could include information about whether your symptoms occur:
- inside your home, outside or both
- for a short time or longer
- at night, during the day or when you wake up
- at a particular time of the year
- near animals
- after you have been stung or bitten by an insect
- after you have had a particular food or drink
- after you have taken a particular medication, either prescription or over the counter from a pharmacy or supermarket
- after you have taken a herbal medicine.
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Tip #: Avoid Extended Time Outdoors When Pollen Counts Are High
Chances are if the weather outside is rainy, cloudy or windless, your allergies wont act up as much. Only those with extreme sensitivity to pollen or mold will have symptoms when the pollen count is low. However, if the days warm, dry and windy, theres a good possibility youll be symptomatic.
To determine what the pollen and mold levels are in your geographic area, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunologys National Allergy BureauÔ provide an allergen guide with accurate pollen counts.
Since pollen counts tend to be highest in the morning, with peak times in the middle of the day, its best to venture out in the late afternoon or early evening. If youre planning on doing yard work, try wearing a mask. Those marked N95 are approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health as being 95% effective at filtering out particles.
Also, if youre planning on exercising outdoors, consider going after work and make sure to shower in the evening so your hair and skin are clean and youre not sleeping in pollen.
What Is A Grass Pollen Allergy
Grasses are one of the most common causes of allergy. Each year, plants release tiny pollen grains to fertilize other plants of the same species. Unfortunately for people with grass allergies, this pollen triggers allergic reactions. Symptoms of a grass pollen allergy include:
- Runny nose
- Itchy nose, eyes, ears and mouth
- Stuffy nose
- Red and watery eyes
- Swelling around the eyes
You may not see the grass pollen in the air, but your body can react to even small amounts.
Many people know pollen allergy as hay fever. Experts usually refer to pollen allergy as seasonal allergic rhinitis.
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Living With A Pollen Allergy
If you have a pollen allergy, the best thing you can do is to avoid being exposed to pollen. You can do this by:
- staying indoors until after midday on windy days and during the pollen season
- avoiding going outside after thunderstorms, particularly when there are high pollen counts
- protecting your eyes with sunglasses, showering when you arrive home, and rinsing your eyes with water
- avoiding mowing the grass, or wear a mask if you have to go near mown grass
- keeping windows closed at home and in the car, and using recirculating air conditioning in the car
- not picnicking in parts or the country during the pollen season
- removing any weeds that trigger your symptoms from around your house, especially from outside your bedroom window
If you are exposed to pollen, rinse your eyes with water and take an antihistamine.
Symptoms Of Pollen Allergies
Everyones immune system is different and allergies to pollens can cause diverse signs and symptoms. This means that diagnosing an allergy can be difficult. If you think you may have an allergy, keeping a record of your symptoms can help you and your doctor to understand what is causing your symptoms.
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Pollen Can Trigger Asthma
Pollen can directly trigger asthma and allergic rhinitis. Small particles of allergens can penetrate deep into the airways of the lung. Thunderstorms can also contribute to this:
- When pollen granules come into contact with water, starch granules are released that are small enough to be breathed into the airways, causing allergic rhinitis and asthma in some people
- People who wheeze during spring and/or summer, should see their doctor for advice.
Pollen seasons can last for months
In Australia pollen numbers are lower on the east coast where most winds come from the sea, and where there is protection from westerly winds by the Great Dividing Range. Pollen numbers are higher on the Victorian south coast because most winds are from the north carrying pollen from the northerly grasslands. In South Australia and Western Australia, the amount of pollen can vary according to the wind.
Pollination times vary with the plant variety and its location.
The principal grasses growing in the northern coastal areas are subtropical and mainly flower in January, February and March. Allergenic grasses in the southern part of Australia are mostly Northern hemisphere grasses, with the main flowering period from October to December.
Diagnosis is important
How To Avoid Pollen
There are a few ways to decrease your exposure to pollen. Reducing your exposure can help minimize your symptoms.
- Limit outdoor activity in the early morning hours, especially from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m
- Drive with the windows closed to prevent exposure to pollen
- Sleep with the windows shut to limit pollen entering the home
- Avoid hanging laundry outside to dry
- After being outdoors, take a quick shower and change your clothes so pollen isnt on your body for too long
- Avoid being outdoors if it is windy or if pollen counts are high
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How Can You Treat A Pollen Allergy
The best treatment is to avoid the allergen, but pollen is extremely difficult to avoid. You could try to reduce your exposure to pollen by:
- Staying indoors on dry, windy days
- Asking others to do the gardening during peak pollen seasons
- Keeping doors and windows closed when you know pollen counts are due to be high
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What Are The Points To Know About Pollen
- Pollen that causes allergy tends to be small, light and dry. It is easily spread by wind over long distances. The pollen that gets all over your car or lawn furniture is not as much of an allergy problem as the pollen too small to be seen.
- Bright-colored flowers actually release less pollen into the air than their drab cousins. Instead they depend on insects to carry pollen from one blossom to another.
- Airborne pollen counts are usually highest early in the day just after the dew dries and on into late morning.
- There is often a burst of pollen into the air when the wind comes up just before a rainstorm. During and after the rain, however, pollen becomes damp and heavy with moisture, keeping it still and on the ground.
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Allergen Immunotherapy Is A Long
Medications only reduce the severity of symptoms and do not cure allergic rhinitis. Another treatment option is allergen immunotherapy which is also known as desensitisation. AIT switches off the allergic reaction, by repeatedly introducing small doses of allergen extracts, by injection, sublingual tablets, sprays or drops.
AIT is a long term treatment which is usually given over a few years.
It should only be started after assessment by a clinical immunology/allergy specialist to determine if this is a suitable treatment option.
ASCIA is the peak professional body of clinical immunology/allergy specialists in Australia and New Zealand.
ASCIA resources are based on published literature and expert review, however, they are not intended to replace medical advice. The content of ASCIA resources is not influenced by any commercial organisations.
For more information go to www.allergy.org.au
To donate to immunology/allergy research go to www.allergyimmunology.org.au
Top 9 Natural Allergy Relief Home Remedies
According to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America, one in five people, or an estimated 50 million Americans, suffer from some type of allergies. The chances are high that you or someone you know deals with ongoing allergies, whether seasonal allergies, food allergies or another type, and could use allergy relief at least from time to time.
Most people who struggle to find allergy relief go to the doctor to be treated and/or are routinely given pharmaceuticals ranging from acetaminophens to antihistamines, both of which may actually further aggravate the symptoms they were given for. If you prefer not to take prescriptions to keep your symptoms under a control, what can help allergies at home?
Home remedies for allergies including symptoms like congested sinuses, headaches, and watery or itchy eyes include using frankincense essential oil, eucalyptus oil and quercetin. Below youll learn about nine amazing, all-natural home remedies for allergies that can help provide fast allergy relief.
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What Actually Is Hay Fever And What Are The Symptoms
Hay fever is a type of allergy that occurs when your body reacts to pollen from trees or shrubs as though it was a harmful organism. To fight this supposed harmful organism, a hay fever sufferers immune system will start producing antibodies to try to prevent it spreading.
The histamine produced by the body leads to the sufferer developing typical hay fever symptoms such as:
- Disrupted sleep, tiredness and irritability
Review Your Allergy History
Think about your allergy symptoms last fall and in the years before. How bad were they? Have your symptoms become worse with each passing year?
If you were miserable last fall or you can see a trend of worsening allergies, this may be the year to start immunotherapy to desensitize your immune system and diminish your allergic reactions.
Youll get some allergy relief in the first 3-6 months of immunotherapy, but it can take 12 months to reach optimal results. In other words, if you start this September, youll get a small amount of relief this season and youll be in good shape next fall.
When you need help with allergy symptoms, call Riviera Allergy Medical Center or book an appointment online.
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When To Consider Allergy Shots
If over-the-counter-medicines and nasal sprays dont seem to be working, you might want to consider allergy shots. Dr. Eidelman says they can help lessen your sensitivity to pollen and more.
Allergy shots, also known as immunotherapy, can make you less sensitive to all the things that youre allergic to. For example, if youre allergic to tree pollen, you would get an allergy shot thats made out of tree pollen protein.
So what does that mean?
In a lab, they extract the protein from tree pollen and they make an extract with it. That extract is then used to desensitize or make the patient less sensitive to tree pollen. Allergy shots are very effective and many controlled studies have reflected this. Allergy immunotherapy is the only treatment that has the potential to cure allergic rhinitis, Dr. Eidelman says.
What Is Hay Fever
Hay fever is a common allergic reaction which occurs at particular times of the year. It is known as seasonal rhinitis, sharing symptoms with perennial allergic rhinitis, but occurring as a reaction to pollen from grass, trees and weeds during the early spring and summer months. It can affect both adults and children.
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Do Allergy Seasons Really Vary In Intensity From Year To Year
Many doctors and scientists say allergy seasons are intensifying, starting earlier and lasting longer. Climate change is a factor. Its fueled in part by rising temperatures and mild winters, allowing pollen-producing trees and grass to bloom earlier. The extended growing seasons leads to increased levels of airborne allergens.
In addition, snowmelt in late winter or early spring can increase moisture that allows trees to produce more pollen when they bloom.
You May Feel Nasal Congestion
If you feel “stuffy in your nose or that your nose feels blocked,” you may have a pollen allergy, says Dr. Kaza. “Pollen exposure can trigger various allergic reactions, including symptoms of hay fever,” adds the CDC. “Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, occurs when allergens like pollen enter your body and your immune system mistakenly identifies them as a threat.”
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Avoid This One Drink To Help Overcome Your Ragweed Allergy Symptoms
Living with a ragweed allergy can make life absolutely miserable for a good chunk of the year. The worst part? The most intense ragweed allergy symptoms seem to hit right when you should be enjoying the best of what the warmer months have to offer. When youre dealing with ragweed allergies, poolside relaxation, vacationing by the ocean, hiking by a meadow or mountain and long hours in the garden are often accompanied by seasonal allergy symptoms like a scratchy throat, an itchy feeling on the inside of your ears, itchy, watery, swollen eyes, a runny nose .
Youre not alone in this warm-season malady, though. A ragweed allergy, also commonly referred to as hay fever, affects about 10 to 20 percent of the American population. And get this: 75 percent of people dealing with seasonal allergies are allergic to ragweed, making it a most dreaded plant in yards and gardens across the country.
Back to ragweed: With a capability to grow in all sorts of conditions, ragweed inflicts its allergy agenda in all 50 states. Just one plant is capable of producing about one billion grains of pollen in single season. Research shows just 5 to 20 pollen grains per cubic meter can trigger ragweed allergy symptoms. To put that into perspective, ragweed pollen grain concentrations readily hit 200 during prime allergy season in the midwestern U.S.