There are many types of allergies affecting Atlanta adults and children, but one of the most prevalent is a pollen allergy. Each spring and summer, pollen causes much distress to vast numbers of hay fever sufferers. In fact, a reported 9% of children and 7.8% of adults suffer from hay fever each year. If you hope to get some relief from the condition this year, it is first vital to understand the symptoms of a pollen allergy.
What Are the Symptoms of a Pollen Allergy?
Pollen is a substance composed of fine grains of “microspores.” The pollen produced by grass, trees and weeds can be dispersed by the wind – plus, bees use some pollen as food. When an individual comes into contact with a certain pollen (or pollens), their immune system may perceive a threat that triggers an allergic reaction. The person will then experience some of the following symptoms.
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- Itchy, watering and red eyes
- Sore throat
- Swelling around the eyes
- Shortness of breath
- Sinus headaches
- Post-nasal drip
Symptoms of a pollen allergy may last for a short period, or for much longer when the pollen count is high. Many people experience these symptoms for long periods of the year, causing severe discomfort and aggravation. Along with treatments like antihistamines and allergy shots, a useful approach is to avoid pollen in your daily life. Here are the main types of pollen to consider.
What Are the Main Pollen Allergy Triggers?
- Grass pollen – Grass pollen allergies are experienced most often during the summer months. Symptoms include allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis and possible skin rashes.
- Birch pollen – One of the main causes of spring allergies is birch pollen. Along with the listed pollen allergy symptoms, sensitivity to birch can worsen asthma symptoms.
- Ragweed pollen – Ragweed pollen allergies are usually experienced from August to October.
- Oak pollen – Oak pollen symptoms are likely to begin in spring and are typically milder than other pollen allergies.
How Is a Pollen Allergy Diagnosed?
If you experience the symptoms of a pollen allergy, it is worth making an appointment with an allergist for testing. As the symptoms of a pollen allergy are similar to other allergies, testing will narrow down the precise allergens triggering a reaction.
Your allergist will first discuss your symptoms and medical history. In most cases, the next step is to undergo skin prick testing. This process involves placing various allergens on your arm and pricking the top layer of skin. If a rash appears, this indicates you are allergic to that substance. An alternative method is to take a blood sample and send it to a laboratory for analysis.
Get Effective Treatment for a Pollen Allergy
While pollen allergies are common, limited numbers of people seek treatment from an experienced allergist – the others continue to suffer unnecessarily. Start treating your pollen allergy today by scheduling a consultation with Dr. Chacko. We have locations in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Duluth and Johns Creek. Call us at (678) 668-4688 or request help online.