Category: Allergens  

Seasonal Allergy (Pollen)

 

Pollen

It’s small, usually invisible and can make you feel pretty terrible.  Pollen grains typically settle in the nose and eyes but sometimes trigger chest symptoms (asthma).  The pollen season can come on gradually or can hit with full force — it all depends on the weather.  What is sneaky about it is that symptoms can start before the plants bloom, in part because the wind-borne pollen grains may travel hundreds of miles.  The spring pollen season consists of 2 parts, an earlier tree pollen phase follow by grass pollen.    Birch tree is a major culprit and Birch allergy is also a common cause of a mild but .very annoying food allergy (oral allergy syndrome).  Grass emerges in the late spring (May-June) and may stay through the early summer. For many patients by July symptoms have resolved but for some they come right back towards the end of summer thanks to Ragweed, the major fall pollen.

Tips on dealing with seasonal allergy:

  • When going outdoors, remember that pollen levels are highest in the morning, and gradually subside as the day goes on.
  • It’s best not to exercise outdoors if your allergies are already bothering you.
  • Wash your hair at the end of the day or you will be sleeping in a bed of pollen!!

    You can obtain pollen counts and daily allergy alert email from pollen.com. For locals, we have the New York City Pollen count as well as links to  NY air quality reports.