Pollen is a powdery, granular substance in the flowers of trees, grasses and weeds that leads to fertilisation of plants. Pollen can be spread by insects or dispersed in the wind. Some people develop symptoms to pollen, such as hay fever (runny nose and itchy and watery eyes), and/or asthma. Many people have an adverse immune response when they breathe in pollen. The immune system normally wards off illness by defending the body against harmful intruders, such as viruses and bacteria.
Symptoms of pollen allergies
If you have a pollen allergy and breathe in pollen-heavy air, you may experience symptoms such as:
- Nasal congestion
- Sinus pressure, which may cause facial pain
- Runny nose
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Sore throat
- Swollen, bluish skin beneath the eyes
- Decreased sense of taste or smell
- Increased asthmatic reactions
Hay fever symptoms from pollen allergies
Hay fever may also be referred to as seasonal allergic rhinitis, if the symptoms appear only when it is pollen season. Hay fever originally only referred to allergies caused by grass pollens, but the term is now also used to describe the symptoms of rhinitis (inflammation of the mucous membrane inside the nose). This can occur throughout the year.
Allergies to pollen commonly cause symptoms of hay fever include:
- Runny, itchy, congested nose
- Irritable, itchy, watery and red eyes
- Itchy ears, throat and palate.
Allergy shots may be recommended if medications are not enough to ease your symptoms. Allergy shots are a form of immunotherapy. You receive a series of injections of the allergen. The amount of allergen in the shot gradually increases over time. The treatment usually includes avoiding trigger environments and certain times of the year, antihistamines, or other anti-allergic medicines and in certain special cases allergen immunotherapy, which may help gradually increase tolerance to pollen or other allergens. It is also recommended to wear a mask and avoid going to dusty areas.
(Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice. Please consult a doctor before starting any regime or medical advice.)
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