For many people in Atlanta and across the country, allergy season brings much apprehension. Hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, affects millions of individuals each year, with pollen counts rising during the spring and summer periods. But why do pollen counts rise during the summer – and what can those with hay fever do to avoid the uncomfortable symptoms?
We’ve All Heard the Term, But Just What Is Pollen?
Pollen is the powdery substance used by some plants during reproduction. The substance is the male DNA of the plant, and after release it is transported by the wind to the female part of the plant for fertilization. Unfortunately for hay fever sufferers, when grass, tree and weed pollens are mistakenly considered a threat by the immune system, it leads to an allergic reaction.
Why Do Pollen Counts Increase During the Summer?
While different plants pollinate at varying times of the year, pollen from grass will be airborne from around mid-May to mid-July. Warm days cause plants to release pollen, and a combination of temperature and wind levels causes pollen levels to rise and spread across vast areas.
The most common cause of hay fever is grass pollen, and this is most prevalent during the summer months.
What Conditions Increase the Severity of Hay Fever?
High pollen counts increase the chances of the substance being ingested or getting into the eyes. When that happens, those with hay fever will then recognize the familiar pollen allergy symptoms of itching, sneezing and watery eyes.
Dry and windy weather is a particular problem for hay fever sufferers as it assists the spread of pollen. High rainfall during spring can also increase the summer pollen count, as plants experience an intense bout of growth. With a wet spring, an added problem is the potential for a delayed tree pollen season that combines with grass pollen season – leading to an uncomfortably high summer pollen count.
What Are Some Ways to Prevent Hay Fever During the Summer?
- Check weather reports – Consider staying indoors when the pollen count is high.
- Close doors and windows – Limit exposure to airborne pollen when the pollen count is high.
- Limit gardening time – Working in the garden will naturally expose you to increased pollen levels.
- Get tested for allergies – Allergy testing will narrow down the precise cause of your allergies.
- Take medication – Antihistamines can make seasonal allergies more tolerable.
- Consider allergy shots – Allergy shots or immunotherapy can dramatically reduce the impact of hay fever.
We Can Help Treat Hay Fever and Other Allergies
Seasonal allergies are a constant source of frustration for many adults and children. Dr. Chacko will diagnose your allergy and find the best treatment plan for some fast relief. Visit us at one of our locations in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Duluth and Johns Creek. For an appointment, call (678) 668-4688 or request help online.