Pollen is a common allergen that causes hay fever (seasonal allergic rhinitis). Although some patients are only affected seasonally, others are symptomatic year-round. Symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, itching, headache, etc.
Generally speaking, an allergy occurs when your body’s immune system overreacts to particles in the environment like pollen. Your immune system fights these allergens by producing antibodies that release chemicals. One major chemical that your body releases are histamine. Histamine causes the inflammatory response of an allergic reaction.
Throughout the year, grasses, trees, and weeds produce small pollen grains. Pollen is carried by the wind and often remains airborne. So, on windy, dry, and hot days, the increased movement and distribution of pollen can result in heightened allergy symptoms.
Pollen exposure can be limited by keeping your windows closed, limiting the time you spend outside on days with a high pollen-count, vacuuming regularly, etc. But it’s impossible to completely avoid an airborne allergen like pollen. In some cases, medications are necessary to control symptoms. Antihistamines, nasal steroids, and decongestants are all over-the-counter medications which help decrease inflammation and promote healing from allergy symptoms.
Occasionally it can be difficult to discern whether or not you have allergies or a cold. If you have a fever and slight aches and pains, then allergies are likely not the cause of your symptoms and you could have a cold. Since the treatment is different for allergies and colds, it’s important to know the differences in symptoms:
University of Utah Health
We recommend that those with pollen allergies consistently monitor the pollen count for their area using a pollen tracker like this one:
At Sensenbrenner Primary Care, we frequently encounter individuals suffering from allergies. We work with patients to develop long-term treatment plans to control allergy symptoms. It’s our goal to help you reach optimal health and wellness!
If your over the counter medicines are not working providing relief of symptoms, call to schedule an appointment at 704- 887-1101