Apr 4, 2011

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The Truth about Pollen Allergens

This is a guest post.

Many people suffer from some types of allergy, an immune response of the body to substances it is hypersensitive to. Symptoms may include sneezing, coughing, watering eyes, difficulty breathing, nausea, cramps, and, if severe, vomiting. A great number of these allergies are triggered by pollen, or a microscopic and usually yellow grain in the male part of plants that are transferred by the wind, insects, or other animals to fertilize the female parts of other plants.

Pollen released by grasses, weeds, and trees throughout most of the year (i.e. all seasons except Winter) could cause respiratory issues once inhaled. The most common ailment is allergic rhinitis or hay fever, the inflammation of the nasal mucous membrane that could bring about sneezing, coughing, itchiness in the throat and nose, dark circles under the red-rimmed eyes. Some people react to specific types of pollen (Tree pollens in the Spring, weed and grass pollens in the Summer, or fungal spores in the Fall) while others are affected by it in general. Should your allergy symptoms surface year-round though, it is more than likely that you are allergic to other minute particles such as dust, animal fur, or mold.

The general environment where one lives in also plays a crucial part in one’s exposure to pollen allergens. People who reside in areas with minimal plant life may suddenly suffer a pollen allergy attack when they enter a park, a forest, a meadow, a public garden, or even a friend’s backyard. Some even have an onset when they just step outside their homes.

I’ve learned through the years that some immediate remedies to pollen allergens begin with taking an over the counter antihistamine pill or a prescription decongestant nasal spray. Preferably a non-drowsy one should you be planning to do tasks such as drive your car or operate heavy machinery. A few natural remedies I’ve discovered as well are to take apple cider vinegar, honey, peppermint tea or butterbur. Cutting down on your sugar intake may also minimize the effects of pollen on one’s system. A few folks have also recommended taking a hot shower then inhaling the steam that accumulates in the bathroom before stepping out.

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, it would be best to initially visit your doctor and find out what exactly in nature sets off your symptoms. Identifying your particular allergen, specifically if it is pollens, would help you become aware of the places that could bring about a sneezing or coughing fit. You could alter your route from Point A to Point B with this knowledge, or at least prepare yourself with a remedy before passing through these sections.

Allergies to pollen are not yet curable, but are currently manageable. It would be ideal to stay indoors with the windows and doors locked as often as possible to prevent an attack, but understanding this free-floating matter and finding ways to minimize or avert severe reactions to it allows people to go about their daily lives in their community.

Margaret Keely is a health care expert and is committed to bringing health education to a higher level by giving dynamic nursing classes to her students.

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