What Is Pollen Count, and How Does It Change?
Pollen allergies are also known as hay fever. The most common symptoms include nasal congestion, runny nose, itchy eyes, scratchy throat, headaches, and frequent sneezing, and in the worst cases, it can also trigger asthma. If you or any of your loved ones are allergic to pollen, come to the Allergy & Asthma Center for comprehensive treatment. For more information, contact us or book an appointment online. We serve patients from Lawrenceville GA, Atlanta GA, Conyers GA, Suwanee GA, Duluth GA, Grayson GA, Decatur GA, Brookhaven GA, Lithonia GA and Covington GA.
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Pollen allergies, commonly referred to as “hay fever” or allergic rhinitis, can cause quite bothersome and disruptive symptoms. During peak pollen seasons, it’s strongly recommended to reduce your time outdoors, especially on windy days, as pollen is more likely to be in the air.
It’s also advised to stay informed about the local pollen forecast and try to plan indoor activities when pollen levels are high. It’s also crucial to keep your windows and doors closed to prevent pollen from entering your home. If you find pollen continues to bother you despite these adaptations, you should consider using air purifiers equipped with HEPA filters to clean indoor air.
Furthermore, over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal corticosteroids are recommended by allergists to relieve symptoms. In addition to medications, saline nasal irrigation devices, such as neti pots, can be used to rinse away pollen and relieve congestion.
In some cases, immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots, may be recommended for long-term relief from hay fever. This approach works by gradually desensitizing your immune system to allergens such as pollen.
To determine how to best manage your pollen allergy, it’s essential to consult a specialist. The experts at Allergy & Asthma Center in Atlanta can develop a comprehensive treatment plan to manage your symptoms effectively.
Pollen allergy symptoms will occur directly after a person encounters pollen, which is released by trees, grasses, and various other plants. The most common symptoms of pollen allergies include:
● Nasal congestion or runny nose – An itchy or congested nasal passage is a prevalent symptom of pollen allergies.
● Watery, itchy eyes – After pollen exposure, red, watery, and itchy eyes can indicate an allergy.
● Frequent sneezing – Repetitive sneezing is a common sign of pollen allergies.
● Scratchy throat – An extremely common symptom of hay fever is an irritated or itchy throat.
● Coughing – This symptom occurs because of postnasal drip or throat irritation caused by pollen allergies.
● Decreased sense of smell – Pollen allergies can cause a temporary loss of smell.
● Headaches – Some people experience frequent headaches because of sinus pressure.
● Skin irritations – In some cases, pollen allergies can trigger skin reactions, such as hives or eczema.
● Fatigue – Allergies can lead to feelings of tiredness due to the body’s immune response.
● Worsening asthma symptoms – People with asthma commonly notice that their symptoms worsen during high pollen seasons.
Overall, it’s important to recognize these symptoms and consider their timing in relation to your latest pollen exposure. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s best to see an allergist.
Pollen levels vary depending on the time of day as well as the season. Understanding these patterns will help you manage your allergies better. In general, pollen counts tend to peak during:
● Morning to midday – Pollen levels are usually high shortly after dawn until midday, as this is when many trees release their pollen.
● Early afternoon – Additionally, pollen levels often surge again during the early afternoon. This is because many grasses release their pollen.
It’s important to note that the pollen forecast depends on the specific types of trees, grasses, and weeds in your area. Pollen counts are also influenced by weather conditions. For example, warm, dry, and windy days increase pollen dispersal, while rain typically lowers pollen levels temporarily. As a general guideline, you should try your best to stay inside at times when pollen counts are high. By planning outdoor activities in the early morning or evening, you can avoid frustrating symptoms.
If pollen allergies are affecting your quality of life, it’s strongly urged to visit an allergist for professional guidance and treatment. The team at Allergy & Asthma Center in Atlanta can conduct a thorough assessment to determine the specific allergens that trigger your symptoms. After the diagnosis, the specialist will be able to outline the most optimal treatment options, which may include allergy medications, immunotherapy, or lifestyle modifications to reduce exposure to pollen.