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Pollen from grass, trees and weeds is a persistent cause of allergies. With the various types of grass in Georgia pollinating throughout most of the year, seasonal allergies can strike at any time. At Chacko Allergy, Asthma and Sinus Center, we treat Atlanta-area patients that are experiencing hay fever symptoms with effective treatment plans. And one of the quickest steps on the path to reducing allergy symptoms is to first understand why pollen count matters.
Pollen Counts in Atlanta and surrounding areas
Pollen count is measured according to the level of pollen density in one cubic meter of air. For example, a pollen count of 50 gram per cubic meter is regarded as low or normal while a pollen count above 1,000 gram per cubic meter is considered high. A high pollen count can be hazardous to health, especially for those who have allergies to pollen or suffering from respiratory conditions. When a patient develops allergic reactions to airborne allergens such as pollen, he or she is suffering from Allergic Rhinitis or more popularly known as hay fever.
Pollen may be released from trees, weeds and grasses. An excessive pollen count in the air can cause those who have hay fever to develop symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, teary eyes, itchy nose, throats and skin. Many hay fever sufferers also develop other symptoms such as headache, sore throat, nasal congestion, fatigue, dark circle under eyes or puffy eyes. Sometimes, patients have such severe reactions to pollen that they may manifest acute symptoms even in a low pollen count environment.
Common Pollen Allergy Symptoms
Pollen is measured by using a device called the Rotorod Sampler, which is made up of a few acrylic rods held together by a rod holder. The device is placed in an open area such as a rooftop and is programmed to spin at a certain cycle percentage depending on the sample period required. For example, a 10 percent duty cycle for a 24-hour sample means the rod spins each minute in every 10 minutes over a 24-hour period. The pollen stains on the rods are then examined using a microscope to determine the pollen concentration.
What Are the Causes of Pollen Allergies?
Pollen is a powdery substance that is integral to the pollination process. To fertilize the female ovule (that contains a seed plant’s reproductive cells), pollen is transported over long distances by the wind or by animals. However, when people allergic to pollen are exposed to it, they typically experience a series of allergy symptoms.
So what’s the reason for this response? In brief, the exposure causes an immune system overreaction that leads to the release of histamine. By checking the pollen count, you can get a good idea of just how much pollen is circulating that day. Of course, taking steps to avoid pollen exposure is a valuable first step, but this usually accompanies treatments such as using antihistamines or taking allergy shots.
Contact Us for Atlanta Area Pollen Allergy Diagnosis and Treatment
Chacko Allergy, Asthma and Sinus Center works with patients to reduce the symptoms of allergic rhinitis and pollen-related allergies. For accurate allergy testing, diagnosis and treatment, visit one of our locations in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Duluth or Johns Creek. For assistance, call (678) 668-4688 or request an appointment today.