This information is about pollen allergies. It covers what they are, how they affect you, and what to do about them.
A pollen allergy is a reaction by your body to fine powdery grains from plants in the air. Pollen allergies flare up most often in the Spring or Fall depending on whether you are allergic to tree pollen, grass pollen or ragweed pollen.
You may have a pollen allergy if you get hay fever, itching eyes, nasal congestion, wheezing, or a skin rash at certain times of the year, every year. On the other hand, you may have some allergic reaction throughout the year, but your allergies get worse during certain seasons. Your symptoms may increase during the morning and evening hours.
For pollen allergies, the trick is to avoid things that cause them. Here are some suggestions. First, control your inside environment. Sleep with the windows closed. Try to have air conditioning for your home, your car, and your workplace (if you can). Replace the filter in your central air conditioning unit every month.
Outside, get someone else to do the yard work in pollen season, or wear a pollen mask if you must do it yourself. And stay away from parks or other areas that you know are pollen sources. If practical, you may want to plan a vacation trip for the pollen season. Some geographic areas are more pollen-free than others.
You can help relieve the nasal and eye symptoms of your allergy with non-prescription medications called antihistamines. They are sold under brand names such as Chlor-trimetonand or Benadryl. Be sure to read product labels carefully, because not all so-called cold remedies contain antihistamines.
Finally, if you have taken all practical steps to avoid the causes of your allergy–and if non-prescription drugs don’t help–get in touch with your health care provider. A stronger medication may be prescribed for you, or you may be referred to an Allergist for evaluation.
Please remember these key points:
- Pollen allergies are your body’s reactions to certain small powdery particles from plants in the air.
- The best way to deal with pollen allergies is to avoid contact with pollen as much as possible.
- Non-prescription antihistamines can help relieve symptoms.
- In more severe or persistent cases, be sure to consult your doctor.