What Is Pollen And Where Does It Come From?

What Is Pollen And Where Does It Come FromWelcome to TGH Urgent Care, powered by Fast Track. We understand allergies and their symptoms including the ones that come from pollen. Our healthcare professionals understand allergy symptoms and can help you with a custom treatment plan during your seasonal suffering.

Pollen is a yellowish, fine powder that is distributed from different plants by the wind. It is the grains or tiny seeds of flowering grasses, trees, and plants. It is transported by birds, insects like bees, and other animals to a multitude of plants. Pollen is essential for fertilizing plants for sexual reproduction and plants that produce cones. It is a huge issue in the spring and summer time when plants are growing and blooming. Millions of Americans suffer from allergy symptoms due to exposure to grass, weed and tree pollens. One of the highest pollen polluters is ragweed, which is the primary contributor to allergies in the fall.

What are the Allergy Symptoms That Come from Pollen?

If you have asthma, pollen can cause agitation and could increase coughing and wheezing symptoms even more. This could lead to increased asthma attacks in those who suffer from asthma already. Actually, more than 80% of people that have asthma and suffer from seasonal allergies run the risk of hospitalization or having to have an emergency hospital visit. Not everyone is affected by pollen, but some people do have a pollen allergy, and breathing in heavy pollinated air could lead to symptoms such as:

How to Manage and Treat Allergies

There are two immunotherapy options for people that have severe pollen allergies. Immunotherapy is the treatment of disease by activating or suppressing the immune system. The first option you can get are allergy shots that will help your body build resistance to the pollen, causing the allergies to be less severe. The second option is getting tablets that dissolve under the tongue that must be started 12 weeks before your symptoms are expected to begin. These are prescription and available for people that suffer from ragweed and grass allergies. Something you can do to help prepare for your allergies is checking the pollen forecasts on the local news, which you can then plan to avoid being outside at times where the pollen levels are high. Make sure that you’re taking your allergy medications or asthma medications at the right time and as often as you need to be. If you do go outside, try to avoid touching your eyes as there may be pollen on your hands, and make sure to wash your hands and shower when you go inside. After the shower, if you do shower, put on some fresh, clean clothes, so you can keep the pollen off the skin. You could also keep your windows closed during the pollination season, as well as using high-efficiency filters in your ventilation, heat, and air conditioning. A huge thing to do is get ahead of the pollen season, by taking your allergy medications in advance. If your allergies start getting bad around mid-May, you should start taking the medication at the end of April, and if there’s a time where the weather is going to be warmer, like at the end of winter, you should start taking the medication then too.

Does Climate Change Affect Pollen Levels?

Since the climate keeps changing, pollen levels are also changing. There are more frost free days, warmer temperatures, increased amounts of carbon dioxide in the air, and a shift in the planet’s precipitation patterns. Because of these changes, the pollen that affects human health has changed drastically, as well as the amount of pollen created by plants and the amount that is in the air. The changing climate also has affected the time of which pollen season starts and ends, along with how long the pollen season is going to last for the year.

Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome or Oral Allergy Syndrome

Oral Allergy Syndrome occurs when cross-reacting allergens are found in both pollen and raw fruits, vegetables, or some kinds of tree nuts. The reason this happens is because the body’s immune system recognizes the pollen and similar proteins in the food which then directs an allergic response to it. Most people affected by Oral Allergy Syndrome can usually eat the same vegetables and fruits if they are cooked because the proteins become distorted due to the heating process. The immune system will no longer be able to recognize the food. This syndrome is more prominent in older children, teens and young adults that have been eating fruits or vegetables for years without questioning it. It usually does not develop in younger children under the age of 3. Hay fever or allergic rhinitis will not develop until after a child becomes a toddler, and hay fever is associated with reactions to pollen that cross-react with those foods. If you have Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome, you probably are allergic to birch, grass, or ragweed pollen.

Triggers and Symptoms of PFAS

  • Grass Pollen- oranges, melons, celery, peaches, or tomato
  • Ragweed Pollen- sunflower seeds, melons, banana, cucumber, or zucchini
  • Birch Pollen- plum, pear, kiwi, hazelnut, apple, carrot, almond, celery, cherry, or peach

If you are having symptoms because of PFAS, they are typically going to be in one area of the body and will normally not start to progress beyond your mouth. In a small percentage of patients, symptoms that have progressed past the mouth and anaphylaxis have been reported. Most of the time those that have this do not need to get treatment because the symptoms go away after the fruit or vegetable is removed from the mouth or swallowed. If you find that you have any of these symptoms or think you could, see a doctor or avoid the foods that cause the reactions. Symptoms could include:

  • Itchy mouth
  • Scratchy throat
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue, mouth, or throat
  • Itchy ears
  • Hives on the mouth

Disclaimer: The information presented in this article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered as specific medical advice or practices endorsed by TGH Urgent Care. It is crucial to consult with a qualified healthcare professional for personalized medical advice. If you are currently experiencing a medical emergency, it is imperative to seek immediate medical attention. We recommend visiting one of our nearest walk-in clinics, and to streamline your visit, we encourage you to utilize our convenient OnmyWay system, designed to save you time in line.

Sources:

www.acaai.org

www.cdc.gov

www.thermofisher.com

Disclaimer

The blogs presented by TGH Urgent Care in partnership with Fast Track are not a replacement for medical care and are exclusively intended for educational purposes. The content provided here should not be construed as medical guidance. If you are encountering any symptoms, we strongly recommend that you seek an appointment with a duly qualified medical practitioner at our nearest facility.

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