The pollen is small grain transferred from one plant to the other to fertilize the female flower to reproduce plant species. Some flowery plants produce very small amount of pollen which is distributed by birds and bees from one plant to the other.
Grass, weeds and trees produce vast quantities of pollen. They rely on winds to distribute it. They can move long distances and cause allergic reaction in people.
Since pollen is seasonal the allergies caused by it are called pollen allergies or seasonal allergies. Main symptoms are itchy and watery eyes, sneezing, congestion, runny nose and wheezing.
It is impossible to completely avoid pollen allergy because of two reasons. One is that trees, weeds and grass produce very large quantities of pollen, and two is that pollen gets distributed in large coverage area ranging miles. Your strategy has to be to reduce the exposure as much as possible.
If you or one or more of your family members are prone to pollen allergy, then while buying house, ensure that some of the trees that cause pollen allergy are neither present in the backyards of the house you are buying nor in the neighbors’ backyards.
There are three main sources of pollen allergies.
1. Tree Pollen Allergy
There are more than 100 types of tress that cause pollen allergy. Most common among them are Oak, Pine, Walnut, Sycamore, Olive, Hickory, maple, palm and willow, Fig, Pear, Plum, Fir, Palm, Redwood and Elm.
If you are prone to tree pollen allergy, then you must take precautions to remain far away from the exposure to these trees during the season.
As early as January, the symptoms of tree pollen allergy will begin to appear and they last up to end of spring. This is the time when the trees begin to produce flowers and the new leaves.
Symptoms of tree pollen allergies are very similar to other allergy symptoms including a runny, stuffy and/or congested nose, sneezing, watery eyes and itchy throat and eyes.
2. Ragweed Pollen Allergy
Ragweed is a weed that can grow almost anywhere. August to November is a time for the ragweed to bloom and release pollen. Ragweed pollen levels are highest in mid-September.
Anyone who is allergic to dust, mites and other pollen can get ragweed pollen allergy. It is more of a genetic condition also. So, if your blood relatives have allergic reactions due to exposure to ragweed pollen,
3. Grass Pollen Allergy
Grass is one of the main triggers of pollen allergy. Grass pollen allergy is not only difficult to prevent but is also one of the most difficult to deal with it because it is seasonal and regional. Pollen levels get affected by the time of the day, temperatures and rain.
Not all types of grasses cause pollen allergy. Out of more than a thousand species of grass only a small percentage causes allergies. The most common grasses among them causing grass pollen allergy include Orchard grass, Johnson grass, Kentucky bluegrass, Timothy grass, Bermuda grass and Sweet vernal grass.
Impact of all these seasonal allergies can be reduced if you keep track of pollen count in your area during the season.
Pollen count is nothing but a count of pollen grains in certain amount of air in a specific time period usually 24 hours.
Rain, humidity, wind and sun can keep changing these pollen concentrations in the air. Usually highest pollen concentrations are present during 11:00am – 3:00pm.
Different concentrations of tree, grass or ragweed pollen can cause allergy depending on your immunity. Therefore, if you know which kind of pollen gives you allergic reaction then you must focus on that pollen count rather than worried about the other pollen counts.
You may be someone who gets allergy from all types of pollen then you have to look at all the pollen counts. Check pollen count in the weather reports.
Higher pollen counts usually means risks of getting allergic reactions, is increased.
You simply can't prevent Grass Pollen Allergy if you are prone to allergies. Bad news! At best you can reduce the exposure. You have to learn to live with it.
You can reduce incidences by taking the following precautions:
- Wear a mask during lawn moving or ask someone else who is not prone to allergies to do the job.
- Make sure the grass cut is short and choose ground covers such as Irish moss etc., which doesn't produce much pollen.
- Reduce outdoor activities during high pollen levels times such as between 05:00 - 10:00 am. Pollen levels also drop after heavy rains.
- Keep windows closed and use air conditioners because windows and attic fans can attract pollens so
- Dry your cloths in the automatic electric dryer rather than by hanging the cloths outdoors.
We are all prone to allergies, so it is difficult to completely prevent it. If you know the triggers, or allergens, then you can reduce the possibilities by avoiding exposure to those triggers. If you can't avoid it, then the best course of action is to treat it and stay in better shape.