People with allergies are usually having the allergic reaction to pollen, the reason for that is that pollen is the most common cause of allergies. If someone is allergic to pets or other things, it is highly possible that they are allergic to pollen too. Pollen is a powder that is being produced in nature by flowers, trees, grasses and other types of plants that are fertilizing. The majority of people are having some kind of reaction when they inhale pollen. The reactions are caused by their immune system that is responsible for fighting foreign substances in your body in order to keep it healthy.
Cause of the Allergic Reaction
Normally, the immune system is protecting you from harmful substances like the viruses and bacteria that have invaded your body. People with a pollen allergy have a much more sensitive immune system that incorrectly identifies the harmless substances of pollen as some dangerous bacteria and it begins to make chemicals that will fight off that pollen. This mistaken reaction is better known as the allergic reaction. People who are allergic might be immune to some type of pollen, it is usually just few type of pollen that can trigger the allergic reaction in people.
In some extreme cases, people have pollen allergies throughout the entire year because they have a very sensitive immune system that treats every type of pollen like a danger. Fortunately, there are not many people that have that type of sensitive immune system. Others have allergic reactions during certain times of the year. Usually, they are affected when the plants are blooming in the Spring, but sometimes even in early fall. Once you have developed an allergy, it is highly unlikely that it will go away. However, the symptoms that are caused by the allergic reaction can be treated with various allergy shots and medication. Also, you can make some changes in your lifestyle that can affect the allergic reaction that you are having to pollen.
Types of Pollen Allergies
To better understand the allergies that are caused by pollen, you have to know all the main types of pollen that are affecting people. Remember, these are just a few of them that affect the largest number of people around the world, there are plenty of other types that we didn’t mention here.
Birch Pollen Allergy
As you already guessed, passive smoking increases the risk of lung cancer. A study has proven that nonsmokers that inhale secondhand smoke have a much higher probability of getting lung cancer than those who do not inhale secondhand smoke.
The risk of lung cancer is increased by as much as 30% by passive smoking. Close to 8000 nonsmokers die in the U.S. due to secondhand smoking. Passive smokers are inhaling almost the same substances as smokers. A short exposure to cigar smoke can damage cells inside the lungs.
Birch Pollen Allergy is probably the most common allergy type that is appearing during the spring. It is transferred by air when the trees start to bloom. The trees start releasing the very fine powder that gets dispersed by the wind. One birch tree can release up to 5 million pollen that can travel very long distances.
Oak Pollen Allergy
It is very similar to the birch allergy because it is released also in the air by wind during the spring. However, it is not strong like the other tree pollen allergies, therefore not everyone will get affected by this type of pollen. It is important to mention that the oak pollen stays in the air for a much longer than any other pollen type.
Grass Pollen Allergy
Grass Pollen Allergy is common during the summer time. It is responsible for some of the most severe symptoms that are not easy to treat. All the treatments that are capable of releasing other pollen symptoms are usually infective with the grass pollen allergy.
It is representing the biggest problem among all weed pollens. They are effective during late spring and fall usually depending on the location and climate. The pollen of the ragweed can travel hundreds of miles and even capable of surviving cold weather.
Symptoms of a Pollen Allergy
Pollen allergy is quite easy to recognize because the symptoms are usually visible and sensible. The first indicator is feeling sick during spring. If you haven’t had allergy before, it will seem like you just got the common flu. However, you must take into consideration all of your symptoms because they are very different from the symptoms of the flu. For example, when you get the flu, you will never have swelling or itching problems. Those two symptoms are the main indicators that you have an allergic reaction to something.
Swelling and itching don’t mean that you are allergic to pollen, it is just a clear indicator that you are allergic to something. The best way to find out what is causing the allergic reaction is to get tested. That allergy test will reveal exactly what type of pollen and all the other things that you are allergic to.
How is Pollen Allergy Diagnosed?
The best way to diagnose a pollen allergy is to visit a doctor. However, they will most likely send you to an allergy specialist that will test you for all kinds of allergies to confirm what type of pollen is affecting you. To get the best results and most accurate ones, you have to give your allergist the medical history and tell him about your symptoms. Information such as when it started and how much it lasted is very important for the specialist in order to get a good result.
To determine the type of allergy that you have, he will most likely perform the skin prick test. That test will give accurate results because he will be inserting various types of allergens into your skin in order to see if there is any kind of reaction to the allergen. Any redness on the skin or swelling will indicate that you are in fact allergic to that type of allergen. The entire procedure will not take very long, usually, the redness, swelling, and itching will start in 15-20 minutes after the allergens are inserted in your skin.
You don’t have to go to a specialist to tell you that you are allergic to something if you already know. However, it is highly recommended that you do visit a specialist because he will test you for all types of allergens and you will know exactly what is causing your symptoms. Knowing what is causing will give you the opportunity to avoid or treat that specific allergic reaction. You might think that you are allergic to pollen when in fact you are only allergic to your pet, you will not know that until you get tested. In that case, all the medication for the pollen allergy will not help you at all because you need to take medicine for pet allergy.
Treatment for Pollen Allergy
Just like any other type of allergic reaction, pollen allergy can be treated as well. The best thing to do is to try and avoid the allergen, however, in this case, it is almost impossible to avoid it because it is everywhere in the air. One thing that you can do with pollen allergy is to minimize the exposure to it. Simple as that, don’t go outside if you don’t have to for that period of time when all the plants are blooming. If you must go outside especially when the concentration of pollen in the air is high we strongly recommend that you use a dust mask to keep as much pollen as possible out of your system. When you are indoors, make sure that all the windows are closed because if they are open and the air circulating, the pollen will get inside.
If that is not working, and you are still having severe allergic reactions, then we suggest that you visit a doctor and use some medication. Depending on the severance of the situation, you will be given some medication or an allergy shot. Those allergy shots are given only in severe cases when the medication is not working anymore and you are having problems breathing. This shot works as an immunotherapy, and it will gradually modify your entire immune system to respond properly to the allergen.
There are some other things that you can do in order to prevent or decrease some of the symptoms that you are having. For example, you can purchase an air filter or dehumidifier that will clear the air inside your home.
There is probably no better way to keep your home safe and clean from any type of pollen. Invest in a quality air filtration system and your allergy problems will go away, at least while you are inside your home area that is being filtrated.