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Where Do Pollen Allergies Come From

Diagnosis Of Pollen Allergies

Where does pollen come from?

If you have allergic symptoms that seem to appear at certain times of the year, you should visit your doctor, who will ask some questions about your allergic reactions. You can also discuss your record of your symptoms. To diagnose your allergy, your doctor may refer you to a clinical immunology/allergy specialist.

Clinical immunology/allergy specialists can test for allergies using a number of methods depending on the type of potential allergy. To test for an allergy to pollens, the clinical immunology/allergy specialist may use a skin prick test or a blood test for allergies. The results will be interpreted and considered together with your clinical history.

is available on the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy website.

Susceptibility To A Pollen Allergy

Many people wonder if pollen allergies are genetic. Researchers are still studying this question, but studies suggest that yes, a hereditary component is involved. Having a blood relative with allergies or asthma increases your risk of having one or more allergies though the specific type is not passed down, just the increased odds. To complicate the matter more, prolonged exposure to the allergen also plays a role in whether or not you develop allergies. Even if you have a genetic susceptibility, you may not develop a problem if you mostly avoid the allergen. Having asthma, atopic dermatitis, and/or allergies to other triggers can also increase your risk.9

If youve made it into your 20s, 30s, or 40s without allergies, you may wonder if youre home free. Not necessarily. It is possible for adults to develop allergies to pollen and other triggers even into middle age. In general, the number of individuals suffering from hay fever is increasing in both the United States and around the world.10

Once you reach middle age, however, your chance of developing allergies to pollen decreases. The immune system weakens as you grow older, so its less likely for it to experience a hyper-allergic reaction.12

Is There Anything Else I Should Know About Seasonal Allergies

Yes. Scientists have recently determined that because of climate change, pollen season is likely to become longer and feature even higher amounts of pollen than it does currently. Right now in the US, it generally starts in mid-April and peaks in early May by 2020, it’ll begin in mid-March, peak in April, and continue even later into the summer, with higher amounts of pollen in the air at any given time.

Happy sneezing.

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Pollinating Trees You Can Live With

Obviously, the fewer allergenic trees in an individual’s immediate vicinity, the less the chance of exposure. Good news is that the great majority of wind-borne pollen grains of all species are deposited quite close to their source. The closer to the tree the pollen stays, the less potential they have to cause allergy.

Remember, a pollen-producing tree or shrub next to a home can create ten times more exposure than a tree or shrub one or more houses away. Get those high-risk trees away from your home.

One rule of thumb: flowers with large blooms usually produce heavy pollen. These trees attract insects that transport pollen and do not depend on wind transportation. These trees are generally lower in their allergy potential. Also, “perfect” flowers on trees are desired. A perfect flower is one that has both male and female parts in a single flower not just male and female parts on the same tree. Perfectly flowered trees include crabapple, cherry, dogwood, magnolia, and redbud.

Trees that are considered to cause fewer allergy problems are:Female ash, female red maple , yellow poplar, dogwood, magnolia, double-flowered cherry, fir, spruce, and flowering plum.

How Can I Protect Myself And/or My Child From These Seasonal Allergies

A Review on the NeilMed® NasaFlo® Neti Pot For Allergic Rhinitis

During the pollen and mold season, we recommend jumping in the shower as soon as you get home every night to rinse the pollen off. Put cold, wet washcloths over your eyes and gently squeeze them to rinse the pollen out of your eyes. You may need to keep the air conditioner running through much of the season to keep the pollen out of the house. We never recommend staying indoors all summer, however! We encourage everyone to spend time outside playing as a family.

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What Else Can I Do To Prepare For Allergy Season

Even if you’re already taking OTC allergy meds, you may still experience symptoms. So, what then?

Luckily, there are a few other solutions. First, Dr. Ogden recommends consulting with a board-certified allergist who can discover *exactly* what’s causing problems for you. “You need to take proactive steps,” she saysand the easiest way to cut down on symptoms is to find out what’s causing them, so you can avoid them.

Once you know what the culprit is, don’t exercise outside or sleep with your windows open. Both may be tempting once the weather gets warmer, but “you have to isolate yourself from your allergens,” Dr. Ogden says, so embrace the indoors to reduce the chance of having a reaction.

And try to remove allergens once you get home: Take nighttime showers, make sure to shampoo your hair, and wash your face to make sure nothing’s stuck to your eyelashes. “You just want to remove pollen residue,” Dr. Ogden explains. For extra protection, consider investing in an air purifier for your bedroom.

The downside? Allergy shots are a bit of a time commitment. You’ll need to get them once a week for six to eight months, then once a month for a minimum of two years, says Dr. Parikh. You need to be a little bit patient too, because it can take about six months to start feeling better. So, if you want protection by March, you’ll probably have to start in September the year before.

How Are Seasonal Allergies Diagnosed

Talk with your doctor if you think your child might have seasonal allergies. The doctor will ask if the same symptoms happen at the same time each year after your child is around an allergen, and do an exam. The doctor may be able to make a diagnosis, or might refer you to an allergy doctor for allergy skin testing or a blood test.

To find which allergens cause a person’s symptoms, allergists usually do skin testing. During skin prick testing, an allergist or nurse puts a tiny bit of a liquid containing an allergen into the skin by making a small scratch or prick on the skin. They usually do skin testing on a person’s forearm or back. The allergist then waits 15 minutes or so to see if a red, raised bump, called a wheal, forms. If it does, there might be an allergy. The allergist uses a ruler to measure the wheal and the redness around it.

Even if a skin test or a blood test shows an allergy, a child must also have symptoms to be diagnosed with an allergy for sure. For example, a child who has a positive test for grass pollen and sneezes a lot while playing in the grass would be considered allergic to grass pollen.

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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.

How Long Is Pollen Active

What type of pollen is high now, what is yet to come?

Out in the open, pollen may be viable for one or two weeks under normal conditions. However, when frozen and sealed, it can last up to a year and even longer. Pollen is more unstable than seed and even under the most optimal conditions, it isnt expected to have as long of a shelf life.

Is pollen in all flowers?

Many flowers, shrubs, trees, and grasses make very little or even no pollen. And some species produce it only in certain plants. For those, all you need to do is to make sure you have female plants the ones that dont make the sneezy, yellow stuff.

What time of day is pollen count lowest?

On an average day, pollen counts rise during the morning, peak about midday, and then gradually fall. So the lowest pollen counts are usually before dawn and in the late afternoon to early evening.

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Sublingual Immunotherapy Allergy Drops

Sublingual immunotherapy is a form of allergy immunotherapy that is administered under the tongue using liquid drops. Immunotherapy gradually introduces small amounts of your allergen to your immune system, retraining it to ignore these substances. Sublingual immunotherapy allergy drops are just as effective as allergy shots, without the need for doctors visits and painful needles.

Sublingual immunotherapy allergy drops are used across the United States. Wyndly is making getting effective allergy treatment convenient and easy for allergy sufferers all over the United States.

Christina Ciaccio Md Msc

Christina Ciaccio, MD, MSc, provides compassionate care for children and adults with food and environmental allergies, allergic rhinitis, urticaria and angioedema, allergic rashes and asthma. She strongly believes in educating patients and their families, and involving them in the care process in a meaningful way.

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Pollen’s Role In Creating Baby Plants

Pollen grains are scientifically known as microgametophytes of seed plants and are responsible for producing male gametes – i.e. sperm cells. The granules find their way to the female parts of the same plants, eventually resulting in fertilization.

In other words, pollination is the natural way for plants to reproduce and create offspring for the next generation. The seeds contained in pollen grains carry the genetic code required to produce a new plant.

In this interesting article, the Guardian explores whether or not botanical sexism could be partly to blame for the high pollen counts in some cities .

Second Stay Indoors When Pollen Counts Are High

How Does Pollen Affect Skin Care?

When pollen counts are high, shut the windows and use the air conditioner, suggests Leftwich.

“The biggest problem pollen-sensitive patients have are the times when the pollen is heaviest and outside temperatures are the nicest,” he says. “People are tempted to sleep with the windows open.”

Big mistake, he tells them. “Normally with the windows shut and the air conditioner on there is very little pollen in your house.”

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What Measures Can Be Taken For Pollen Allergy Prevention

As with most allergies, the best way of preventing an allergic reaction to pollen is by avoiding it. Following pollen allergy remedies at home might come in handy in preventing your exposure to pollen and resultant allergic reactions.

Things you should do if you have pollen allergy

  • Check the pollen count before heading out
  • Keep windows closed during pollen season
  • Dry your clothes in a cloth dryer instead of drying them outside
  • Bathe and wash your hair with shampoo daily after being outside for a signification period
  • Wash your bedding in hot, soapy water at least once a week
  • Wear sunglasses and a hat

Things you shouldnt do if you have pollen allergy

  • Do not go outside when the pollen count is high
  • Do not maintain close contact with pets that spend a lot of time outdoors
  • Do not engage in gardening or landscaping activities during peak pollen season

Pollen Producers You Can Live With And Those You Can’t

  • B.S., Forest Resource Management, University of Georgia

Plants that produce wind-blown pollen, many of which are trees, make life miserable for millions of human allergy sufferers each year. A large number of tree species produce extremely small pollen particles from their male sexual parts. These trees use the wind as their favorite means of pollen transport to others of their own species for pollination.

This pollination leads to the procreation of new trees. That’s a good thing.

Pollination is critical for trees to reproduce but can be crippling to some people with specific tree allergies and asthma. If these allergy sufferers live in areas with lots of the wrong trees, there can be major health issues and loss in quality of life during peak pollen season.

Allergy sufferers can make it through tree pollen season with a minimum of discomfort by following some common sense suggestions. Minimize outdoor activity between 5 and 10 a.m., as morning is the time when pollen counts are usually the highest. Keep the house and car windows closed and use air conditioning to stay cool. But you don’t have to stay inside all the time either.

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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.

What Are The Most Common Spring And Summer Allergies

How to Recognize Pollen Allergy Symptoms — From the makers of ZYRTEC®

Pollen and molds. Pollen is one of the most common allergies in the U.S., caused by a fine, powdery, airborne pollen powder from trees, grass, flowers and weeds. People with pollen allergies only have symptoms when pollen is in the air. Mold allergies can be year-round, but are usually worse when the weather is damp and when the leaves decay in the fall.

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Predisposition To Food Allergies

Tree pollen can resemble proteins that are constituents of several pitted fruits. For example, if you are found to be allergic to the birch tree, that allergen strongly cross-reacts with apple, peach, plum, celery, cherry, apricots, kiwi, hazelnuts, almonds, carrots, and some other fruits and nuts.

Symptoms of this type of allergy can include itchiness or swelling of the mouth, throat, and lips. The symptoms are usually localized to the mouth area and do not progress to other body parts. If you develop food allergies, you need to talk to your healthcare provider about medications you can take in case you become exposed.

What Is Pollen Allergy

Pollen is one of the most common triggers of an allergy or hay fever.

It is a fine yellowish powder that fertilizes other plants and is carried by the wind, birds, insects or other animals. Pollen is extremely vital to plant growth and its count is particularly highest during spring and summer time which is also considered pollen allergy season.

Due to its widespread reach, a pollen allergy is among the most common outdoor allergies in the world. As a matter of fact, one in every seven people in the world suffers from a pollen allergy.

Some people have pollen allergies year-round, while others get triggered during certain periods, mostly pollen season.

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Allergenic Pollen And Pollen Allergy In Europe

Division of Respiratory and Allergic Diseases, Department of Chest Diseases, High Speciality Hospital A.Cardarelli Napoli, Italy

EAACI Interest Group on Aerobiology and Air pollution

Interdepartmental Centre of Bioclimatology, University of Florence, Florence, Italy

Allergy Clinic, Azienda Sanitaria 10 Firenze, Florence, Italy

EAACI Interest Group on Aerobiology and Air pollution

Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy

Institute of Neurobiology and Molecular Medicine National Research Council, ARTOV, Rome, Italy

The GA2LEN project

Centro de Imunoalerlogia do Algarve, Portimao, Portugal

EAACI Interest Group on Aerobiology and Air pollution

INSERM, UMR S 707: EPAR, Paris, France

Université Pierre et Marie Curie Paris 6, UMR S 707: EPAR, Paris, France

Division of Environmental Dermatology and Allergy GSF/TUM, Technical University, Munich, Germany

EAACI Interest Group on Aerobiology and Air pollution

The GA2LEN project

Division of Respiratory and Allergic Diseases, Department of Chest Diseases, High Speciality Hospital A.Cardarelli Napoli, Italy

EAACI Interest Group on Aerobiology and Air pollution

Clinical Centre of Allergology, Medical University, Sofia, Bulgaria

The GA2LEN project

Department of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, University Hospital Gent, Belgium

The GA2LEN project

Division of Respiratory and Allergic Diseases, Department of Chest Diseases, High Speciality Hospital A.Cardarelli Napoli, Italy

EAACI Interest Group on Aerobiology and Air pollution

Why Are Pollen Allergies So Common

Pollen Allergy: A Holistic Approach

You can’t get more natural than plants. Humans have been around them for our entire evolutionary history. So why are roughly 20 percent of Americans allergic to pollen, as if this plant sperm powder were some sort of toxic foreign substance?

The real question, according to Susan Waserman, professor of medicine in the division of clinical immunology and allergy at McMaster University in Canada, is not “Why pollen?” but “Why allergies at all?” Humans typically become allergic to things we’re frequently exposed to as children. Pollen is one of those things in the spring, a cubic meter of air can contain thousands of pollen grains, so we’re inhaling them fairly constantly. But we’re also routinely exposed to food and pet hair as kids, and we commonly develop allergies to those, too.

So it’s not pollen, it’s just stuff. “If you’ve got that genetic tendency to become sensitized” i.e. to develop allergic reactions to harmless substances “the huge amount of pollen you breathe in and out can easily lead to sensitization,” Waserman told Life’s Little Mysteries.

But why do immune systems make that fateful mistake in the first place?

Most studies of children getting “co-infected” by viruses and allergies have focused on pet hair allergies, she said, but the explanation may pertain to the onset of pollen and food allergies, too.

Follow Natalie Wolchover on Twitter @nattyover. Follow Life’s Little Mysteries on Twitter @llmysteries, then join us on .

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