Why Does Pollen Cause Allergies?

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pollen allergy

Do you experience sneezing, itching, and watery eyes during spring and summer? You’re probably allergic to pollen, the fine powder that comes from the stamen of flowering plants and grass. When pollen is dispersed through the air, it enters the nose, mouth, and eyes and causes an allergic reaction called hayfever or Rose fever. While scientists aren’t exactly sure why some immune systems mistake pollen as a harmful substance, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America estimates that over 20 million people suffer from hayfever. 

When Is Pollen Allergy Season?

Spring is most commonly known as tree or grass pollen allergy season. Tree pollen is the main culprit this season and emerges in late March. Grass pollen levels also rise later in the spring and will last into late Summer. So, springtime allergy sufferers usually feel more severe symptoms during warmer months. 

However, pollen doesn’t go away when summer ends. Ragweed and other Fall weed pollen such as Mugwort pollen carries into fall and often affects those who react to tree and grass pollen. Still, pollen allergies vary from person to person. You may only be allergic to one type of pollen. We suggest getting allergy-tested at one of our allergy centers in NYC to determine which type of pollen will aggravate your symptoms during the different pollen seasons.  This will help you identify you exact season, help you track the pollen count more accurately and anticipate with the help of  our allergists, which medicines to take., when to start taking them and for how long you should be taking them  

Are Pollen Allergies Genetic?

The tendency to develop allergies is often hereditary. This means that if two parents have allergies, there is a much higher chance of their children developing them also. However, a person doesn’t usually inherit a particular allergy, just the likelihood of having allergies. So, just because a parent has a pollen allergy, it doesn’t mean the child will have it as well. The specific allergy is determined by what a child is exposed to and when they are exposed to it. 

It is also a fact that those who are allergic to one thing are likely to be allergic to others. This is especially the case with food allergies. Individuals with a peanut allergy are likely to have a tree nut allergy as well. They are also more likely to have tree pollen allergies. This is why it’s essential to get allergy-tested as soon as possible. At NY Allergy & Sinus Centers, you’ll receive an allergy diagnosis in less than 20 minutes.  

How to Prevent Pollen Allergy

The first step in preventing your pollen allergy symptoms is to reduce your exposure to pollen. Try not to engage in outdoor activities on days when the pollen count is particularly high. It’s also helpful to take daily allergy medication at night instead of the morning to allow time for the medication to work. If you aren’t sure which over-the-counter or prescription medication is best for your symptoms, contact our allergy experts at NY Allergy & Sinus Centers for a complete treatment plan. 

For patients who want to stop taking daily allergy medication even if for only a few weeks of the year, we recommend allergy immunizations. This form of allergy treatment is a better solution for treating your allergies long term. For more information on this available treatment, contact our Board-Certified Allergists at (212) 686-6321. 

Meet the Physician Collaborator

Dr. Morris Nejat is an allergist and immunologist that specializes in hay fever, asthma, sinusitis, and food allergies. You can schedule an appointment with Dr. Nejat or one of our other allergists by calling 212-686-6321 or book an appointment online through our website. www.NYAllergy.com