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Allergy

Symptoms of Allergic Asthma

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Symptoms of Allergic Asthma

Allergic asthma is a condition in which our immune system overreacts to allergens. When allergens enter our airways, our immune system releases chemicals that also releases histamine, which causes inflammation.

This is why people with asthma are those who experience tightening of airways. When allergens enter our body, the allergens trigger histamine to build-up in the allergic area. As a result, the histamine build-up makes the area to swell. If the inflamed area is the airway, the muscles around it will also be tightened. Therefore, allergic asthma is a strange sensitivity in airway.

  1. Runny Nose

Many of us experience runny nose, and it does not mean we all have allergic asthma. There are many factors that cause it. It could be fever, cold, or flu. However, runny nose must be coupled with other symptoms of allergic asthma to closely confirm it.

Even without the occurrence of other symptoms, runny nose can be associated with asthma at a certain level. This means that severe runny nose may no longer be normal especially when difficulty in breathing is already involved. Moreover, the occurrence must be consistent with presence of what may have caused it.

  1. Sneezing

Sneezing is the most common symptom of allergy not only of allergic asthma but also of other allergies. When we sneeze, it means we expel foreign substances that our body could not take. Our immune system is always alert when allergens enter our body. Since our nose is vulnerable to allergens, our naturally detects them and blocks them immediately. When too many allergens have already penetrated, we tend to sneeze over and over again until our nose is cleared temporarily. It may occur once again when mucus that contains allergens get through our nose.

  1. Itchy Eyes

Aside from nose, eyes are also vulnerable to allergens. In fact, our eyes are one of the most sensitive areas of our body. A grain of dust can make our eyes react, let alone allergens.

It is just normal to have itchy eyes when something suddenly enters it. What makes it a symptom for allergic asthma is when eyes get suddenly itchy immediately upon having a runny nose. It is caused by overproduction of histamine that inflames not just your nasal area but also nearby such as eyes and ears.

  1. Cough

Cough will always be one of the symptoms of all types of asthma. There are also many types of cough, but dry cough is a strong sign that it could be asthma-related. Just like sneezing, coughing is a natural reaction to expel allergens.

On the other hand, coughing cannot release the allergens the way sneezing does. What coughing can do is to try to expel mucus or phlegm depending on the severity. However, to expel mucus or phlegm is difficult when you have a dry cough. Symptoms for allergic asthma are usually a type of cough coupled with phlegm and mucus the way a runny nose is clogged with mucus.

  1. Difficulty in Breathing

Difficulty in breathing alone can be considered a strong sign of allergic asthma. This is due to the tightening of airway and the inflammation of muscles around it. Difficulty in breathing includes short breathing and breathing quickly.

Conclusion

Allergic asthma may be a permanent condition that can be treated. If you don’t know whether or not you have an allergic asthma, the above signs and symptoms may give you a clue. Nevertheless, it is still best to consult your doctor if symptoms persist.

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Identifying Chocolate Allergies

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Chocolate is a food craved by many, but someone cannot eat this sweet treat due to a food allergy. Food allergies occur anytime the body’s immune system reacts to a protein that it sees as harmful, when it is not. Those reactions can range from mild to severe. The only way to know the severity of the food allergies is with allergy testing or by eating the food and discovering bad reactions that follow afterwards. To help you identify if whether you have a food allergy to chocolate or not here are some of the symptoms that can occur.

Migraine Headache

One of the most common symptoms related with a chocolate allergy is a migraine headache. Migraine headaches cause pain in the front or sides of the head. They can cause blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, tingling in the arms and feet, body aches and chills and pain within the jaw and teeth. They come on suddenly, but typically occur after eating or drinking a food substance that causes it. The best way to treat migraines is with rest, drinking plenty of water, taking pain relievers, and avoiding the substance that causes it such as chocolate.

Hives or Rash

Skin issues such as hives or rashes are other issues people experience with food allergies. This is because the body is trying to rid the substance from the body through the skin. Sometimes eczema can occur as a longtime allergic reaction symptom if chocolate is eaten daily. To soothe and heal skin issues such as these, oatmeal baths and coconut oil seem to help greatly.

Difficulty Breathing

Wheezing, chest tightness, coughing and closing of the airways are serious allergic reaction symptoms that can occur with chocolate allergies. These typically occur within minutes of consuming the food, and most of the time need to be treated with an EpiPen and medical treatment from a doctor.

Swelling of Body Parts

Swelling and itching of the lips, mouth or tongue right after eating chocolate is a way of identifying a chocolate allergy. If this happens visit a medical professional immediately for treatment. Sometimes the hands can swell too, but it depends on the severity of the allergies.

Digestive Issues

Tummy troubles are another common sign of a chocolate allergy. Some of the digestive issues that you may experience are diarrhea, stomachache, and vomiting. Avoiding chocolate will stop these symptoms from occurring, but what will ease them are chamomile tea, papaya fruit, peppermint tea, antacids and antihistamine medication.

Runny Nose with Sneezing

A runny nose with constant sneezing while or after eating chocolate means it is probably time to stop eating this sweet treat. Antihistamines are the best treatment for easing these types of allergy symptoms.

Watery Eyes

Dripping watery eyes is an allergy symptom most suffer from with not only chocolate allergies, but with all allergies. Again, antihistamines and eye drops can help ease this allergy symptom. Sometimes itchy eyes can occur as well along with the watery eyes.

Bottom Line for Identifying Chocolate Allergies

Knowing these symptoms can help you identify these common chocolate allergy symptoms. Once they are known, it is best to avoid chocolate all together, but if for some reason, you do develop a severe allergic reaction go to the emergency room immediately for treatment. If there isn’t away to get to the ER call 911 immediately for help. After all, some food allergies without treatment can be deadly. If you are unsure if you have a chocolate allergy or not even after eating it and experiencing symptoms it is best to visit your doctor for allergy testing.

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All About Allergies

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Did you know that according to the AAFA (Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America) 30% of adults, and 40% of children have allergies ? An overall understanding of the various allergies is imperative when it comes to combating and coping with it.

What Causes Allergies?

Allergies occur when your immune system develops a reaction to an allergen. Symptoms could range from mild to severe, in some instances. Foreign substances or antigens are sometimes seen as harmful to your body’s natural immune system, and it reacts by producing an influx of antibodies.

For some reason, your immune system perceives certain harmless substances as a threat and starts to attack these substances. One common way your body does this is by producing histamines. These histamines are responsible for the allergy symptoms you experience.

There are a range of substances that can spark off an allergic reaction. Some of these include pet dander, penicillin, and the spring time challenge for many, pollen. If treated properly, the majority of allergies are not serious, with the exception of anaphylaxis. This severe allergic reaction can lower your blood pressure. You could also stop breathing, and would need to contact 911 for an emergency dose of epinephrine or adrenaline Be sure not to take antihistamines if you develop anaphylaxis, as this could worsen your condition.

Skin Allergies

Hives, or urticarial, is one of the most common skin allergies. Here you’ll develop an itchy inflamed rash with sores. Your skin may also become inflamed beneath the surface. Hives can occur on your eyes, lips, hands, feet, as well as your back. An insect sting, pet dander, stress, certain drugs, and extreme temperatures are often the cause here.

Other forms of skin allergies include dermatitis or eczema. With eczema, your skin will appear itchy, patchy and leathery. If you have mild atopic dermatitis, a skin barrier repair moisturizer should remove the flakiness. For more severe cases, and in instances where the eczema does not clear within 3 weeks, see your healthcare provider for oral or topical corticosteroids.

Food Allergies

The majority of these types of food allergies stems from eating products containing peanuts, egg whites, cow’s milk, soybeans, wheat, and tree nuts.

You may also develop an allergic reaction from eating shellfish, additives found in gum Arabic, corn, beans, and food comprising yellow food colorant or dye.

Developing an Allergic Reaction to Medication

Many people are allergic to penicillin and wear compulsory medical bracelets as a result. Practice caution if you have arthritis and are taking medication like Celebrex, which contains sulfa pharmaceuticals.

Some may also develop an allergic reaction to various types of antibiotics. It’s also advisable to practice caution when taking aspirin, as it’s an anti-coagulant which could cause problems if you have nasal polyps or asthma.

Respiratory Allergies

Hay fever or allergic rhinitis is one of the most common forms of respiratory allergies. Here you may experience a runny nose, itchiness around the eyes and nose, constant sneezing, wheezing, coughing, and sometimes nasal congestion. This usually occurs at the onset of spring when pollen from grass and ragweed is released. Dust and animal dander may also cause respiratory allergies.

Other causes here are airborne spores which can cause a mold allergy. Be sure to remove all dampness indoors, especially in your bathroom, or if you’ve had leaks somewhere, as mold will thrive here.

Keep your home dust-free at all times if you suffer from allergies, as dust harbors dust mites, pollen and spores. Do practice extra caution if you have asthma, as an allergic reaction to dust, pollen and mold spores can trigger an attack.

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What Causes Asthma

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Image is from CDC

Asthma is a common respiratory infection and is often long-term. It is associated with recurring inflammatory characteristics such as bronchospasm and reversible airflow obstruction.

The symptoms one may experience include coughing, wheezing, breath shortness and chest tightness. These signs are bound to change depending on the person’s immunity, or the exercise one is undertaking.

Causes of asthma

Asthma is brought about by the effect of a combination of many factors. The factors include interactions that are genetically and environmentally instigated. The effect of the above factors often go along away in influencing the sensitivity and rigorousness of asthma to treatment.

Recent scientific research affirms that asthma cases are on the rise due to the changing environmental conditions. Further genetics study reveal that, while asthma is almost spread among the ages, it is most likely that onset before the age of twelve is likely to be caused by genetic influence while contracting asthma after the age of thirteen would be environment-influenced.

Environmental causes

There is a myriad of such factors that can actually lead to the development and exacerbation of this respiratory infection. They include to mention but a few,

  • Air pollution, allergens that cause allergies and exposure to hazardous environmental chemicals.
  • Expectant mothers are advised to restrain from smoking as this impends a high risk of asthma.
  • Other factors such as traffic pollution could cause emission of dangerous gasses to the open air; this could be a major cause of asthma development and severity.
  • This has been mostly the case in the US, as nearly half of the children who have asthma are from areas with air quality below standard.
  • Organic compounds that are volatile may prompt asthma especially if one exposes themselves to the compounds for long hours. They include phthalates, formaldehyde and some types of PVC.
  • One more common factor is contact with indoor allergens. There are many indoor allergens, and common ones include animal dander, cockroaches, and dust mites.
  • A few viral respiratory diseases may increase the risk of contracting asthma, one of them was found to be respiratory syncytial virus.

Genetic causes

As seen above, genetics also plays a major role in contracting asthma.One sure cause of asthma-related to the above subtopic is family history with an innumerably different of genes being concerned. In case a twin is affected there is a chance of up to about 25% of the other contracting asthma. By 2006, twenty different gene types had been associated with asthma in at least six different populations. A good number of these genes are connected to the immune system or inflammation. However, results have not been consistent in the various tested populations.

In 2006, a study on genetic association associates over 100 genes with asthma. In other cases, genetic variants are found to cause asthma only when in combination with other environmental exposures. A good example would be single nucleotide polymorphism found in the region of CD14 and exposure to a bacterial product named endotoxin. Exposure to the latter may come from numerous factors related to the environment that include tobacco smoke, animals such as dogs and sometimes even cats. It could be concluded then that risk of asthma is contributed by both ones genetic composition and a given level of exposure to endotoxin.

 

 

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Prevent Food Allergies

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There are a range of allergies, and food allergy falls among them. A food allergy is described as an abnormal response to the food eaten at that given time. Not all allergies are identical, as their indications maybe be minor or other times severe.

Symptoms of food allergies

The major symptoms of allergies may include among others the following:

  • low blood pressure
  • itchiness
  • diarrhea
  • itchiness

Most of the time it varies from different people. Some react within minutes, and others react within a couple of hours after exposure. However, when the condition is severe, it is referred to, as anaphylaxis.

Methods of preventing food allergies

You can curb food allergies through the following ways:

Keep away from trigger foods

It is also advisable to do away with trigger foods from the kitchen counters. Due to the fact that certain types of foods may cause allergy, keeping them around in the kitchen maybe lure one to consume the food, either intentionally or otherwise hence leading to allergic reactions. Exercising this may greatly reduce your risk of consuming allergic foods. Some of the most known foods to cause allergies include:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Soy
  • Wheat
  • Peanuts

Be keen on ingredients

Another useful precaution is to throw away any food products that you are not certain of the ingredients. Always keep it a practice to read food labels as possible as you can. This requires you first to identify the ingredients that often cause allergic reactions and avoid foods with such contents. Most developed countries require manufacturers to label their food containers with the top ten allergenic foods on food containers. Most allergens have code names for allergens an example is lactose, whey or rennet casein for milk.

Let your baby suckle

Medical experts advise that a mother should breastfeed her infant for at least 4 months of age, this helps in preventing allergies such as cow’s milk allergy, wheezing and atopic dermatitis.

Replace your stock with trigger free food stuff or their alternatives

Removing your favorite foods because of allergy maybe not be an easy thing to do but alternatively, you can keep your pantry full of alternative foods thus minimizing the risk of consuming food with allergic content. In case you are in an environment around those who freely consume your trigger foods, you might want to consider storing your food separately.

Other times it causes no harm to walk around in stores to check for products specifically for folks with allergies, this may be a good idea because many manufacturers are considering that trend.

Limit cross contamination

In many typical homes, it is not so accidental to get into contact with trigger foods through cross contamination. This, however, can be prevented by being on the look lout on what you bring home and how you store and even cook it. Some precautions may include; using different utensils from others, owning your own cooking appliances such blenders and lastly cleaning your hands properly before handling any food stuff.

Put down your meal plans

If you constantly prepare your meal yourself, at a personal level, you stand a chance of reducing the risk of consuming trigger food. This also goes a long way in ensuring you get the right amounts of required vitamins and keep fit. This can occasionally be, maybe once a week. Take keen notice on meals you often miss at home. If you get to a restaurant, it is advisable to check the menu first.

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What Triggers Asthma

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Image is from WebMD

Living with asthma is manageable. But to understand how to live with it, you need to understand what can trigger it. Here’s a look at some of the things that can trigger asthma.

Allergies

While allergies manifest themselves in different ways, some allergic reactions cause asthma. The list of allergens that can trigger asthma is a long one. Dust mites, rodents, and pet dander are common household allergens. An often overlooked cause allergy is household mold. It can hide in your air vents and trigger a reaction.

There can be outdoor allergens as well. In the spring, pollen may irritate you and cause asthma. There are various types of pollen, and one pollen may cause asthma while another doesn’t bother you.

Respiratory Issues

If you’re not usually prone to asthma, you may experience it as a result of a respiratory illness. One of the symptoms of pneumonia and the flu is asthma. Other illnesses that can trigger it include a cold, sinus infection, and sore throat. While these respiratory issues can cause asthma in an adult, they most often do so in children.

 Airborne Irritants

These irritants are different from allergens because their presence doesn’t cause an allergic reaction. Instead, they make your airways swollen and more narrow. As a result, they trigger asthma.

These irritants include cigarette smoke, smoke from a fire, dust, chemicals, and strong fumes. Different people have different sensitivities to these irritants. So, what triggers asthma in one person may do nothing in another.

Exercise

When you exercise, your body fuels the work with Oxygen. And that means that you breathe harder. In some people, this causes asthma. Known as exercise-induced bronchocontsriction, this type of asthma is only triggered during exercise.

Exercise-induced bronchoconstritction doesn’t usually show up the second you start to exercise. It takes a few minutes for the asthma to kick in. Fortunately, it is manageable with medication.

Weather

The weather can have a direct affect on asthma. Cold air can trigger an attack, as well as dry wind. Sometimes, a seasonal weather change can effect asthma. Additionally, people with exercise-induced bronchoconstriction usually have more asthma attacks when they exercise in cold weather.

Strong Emotions

When you experience a strong emotion, your breathing changes. Anger, excitement, and fear can all trigger asthma. Some of the actions you take while experiencing these emotions (like yelling, laughing, and crying) can also trigger it.

Reflux

People who suffer from reflux may experience asthma as a direct effect of reflux. There are other medical issues that can have similar results.

Medicine

Some people are sensitive to aspirin and NSAIDs. Taking them can trigger asthma if you have a sensitivity. Taking beta blockers may make it harder for your to control your asthma.

Knowing Your Triggers

If you know what triggers your asthma, you may be able to prevent an attack. It can also help you and your doctor establish a treatment plan. The next time you have an asthma attack, consider which of these triggers may have been the culprit.

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National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

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The AAFA Agenda

Every year in the Month of May the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America or AAFA pushes their agenda towards increasing public awareness of Asthma and Allergies.

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a scary, chronic lung disease where the tiny airways in the lungs become narrowed, blocked, and inflamed. These airways swell and become highly sensitive.

When this happens, you experience wheezing when breathing. You become short of breath and feel tightness in your chest. Your coughing may increase due to mucus buildup that is thick and sticky. Asthmatics experience more symptoms during the night or early morning hours. There is no cure.

Any race, male or female, from infants to seniors can have asthma, and there are currently upwards of 25 million people who have chronic asthma.

What Causes Asthmatic Episodes?

Usually, inhaled substances of which the person is allergic to can cause an asthma attack or exacerbation of an asthma condition. Some of these substances can include,

  • Pet hair and pet dander
  • Dust
  • Mold
  • Mildew
  • Grass
  • Pollens
  • Flowers
  • Allergy to a particular food
  • Rubber
  • Plastic
  • Latex
  • Fumes
  • Air pollutants such as smoke

Asthma symptoms can also increase due to excessive exercise, stressful situations, episodic health conditions such as bronchitis, pneumonia, or a cold.

Control and Maintain Asthma because if you do not, your asthma can become something more serious such as COPD or Emphysema. It is important to take all medications as prescribed and follow your doctor’s orders.

There is no cure for asthma; you must learn how to manage your condition by,

  • Taking prescribed medications
  • Eating well-balanced, healthy meals and snacks
  • Staying away from those who are ill with a cold or the flu
  • Getting adequate rest
  • Devising an exercise plan individualized for you
  • Avoiding drafts and severe cold weather

The difference between COPD and Emphysema is that they are not curable and they continue to become worse ending in death.

Technology at Work

Researchers are working toward new and improved methods to control asthma. May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, and the focus is new and improved medications, ways to live with Asthma, programs for asthmatics, awareness campaigns, and projects to bring asthma to light for those who are in the know and those who have no idea what asthma is and how asthma impacts your life.

May is the season that peaks for people who suffer from asthma and allergies. The month of May proves to be the best time of year to educate you, your family, and your friends about this chronic, life-threatening disease, because the numbers of allergy and asthma suffers are climbing every year to staggering numbers.

Yes, you can die from a severe asthma attack, however, in this day and age, asthma is highly controllable and maintained to the point that you can live your life normally without signs and symptoms of asthma interfering and taking the joy from your life.

Become Proactive in Combating Asthma and Allergies

Access the AAFA website for how you can help during the month of May, Asthma, and Allergy Awareness Month and bring the message from the AAFA, especially during the month of May that there is help for those who have Asthma. Learn how you can fight this chronic disease, and its causes and help others who have this chronic respiratory illness.

If you have asthma, it does not have to progress to COPD or emphysema if you properly maintain your respiratory system. Learn new approaches for your lung health through educational tools the AAFA provides to asthmatics, programs, educational material, online resources, informational newsletters, magazines, and outreach resources.

 

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Food Allergy Action Month

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Image is from Kids With Food Allergies

Making You Aware of Food Allergies

May 14th – 20th is Food Allergy Action Month. May is the time of the year to make you aware of food allergies and the dangers of how anaphylaxis can impact your life.

Food allergies usually start in childhood, but you can eat a food item all your life and all of a sudden become allergic to this food.

Food Allergy Action Month is here to contribute to making you aware of the many different forms of allergens contained in your food sources. Food allergies are a serious matter, new information is available.

It is not only a particular food that may cause you allergic reactions when you eat it, but maybe one of the many ingredients that producers use in the growing and production of the food before it reaches your grocery store and your table that makes you allergic.

Food and Ingredients in Foods

While you may indeed be allergic to a particular food, in actuality the allergy may be an ingredient within that food source.

Your allergy to foods and any ingredient put into the food is a challenge for you and your doctor to discover. Food Allergy Action Month is here to make you more aware.

Knowledge and education give you an element of power to stay healthy and away from troublesome allergens and helps you manage your food allergies more effectively.

Who is at Risk for Food Allergies?

Food allergies affect all age levels, male or female, from newborn babies to the oldest senior, and cross the bounds of all races.

Whether you are newly diagnosed with food allergies or have been fighting food allergies all of your life, there is always new information on the horizon and things you may not know.

Allergy Action Month is here to educate and inform all people about food allergies, such as,

  • Parents
  • Children
  • Teenagers
  • Students on all levels
  • Adults
  • The medical community
  • Schools
  • Colleges
  • Employers
  • Restaurants
  • Food manufacturers

One True Story

Did you know that one in 13 children has a food allergy, or is it an ingredient in the food, such as an additive or preservative? Determining this allergy takes time and patience and is well worth the research.

One day parents took to their six year old son to the emergency room due to serious itching and hives. Due to the misery, this child was experiencing the doctor admitted him to the pediatric unit.

The doctor met with the parents who said that the only thing their child was allergic to was aspirin and they did not keep this in their home.

It was a day after the Easter holiday when the child became ill. After much talking and research, the doctor found that the child received his Easter basket with a well known favorite yellow brand of candy, common at Easter time.

The doctor told the parents that this yellow candy had yellow food dye and yellow food dye had the same components as aspirin! Who would have thought about this or known?

According to the food allergy organization, more than 200,000 people end up in the emergency room every year due to severe food allergies.

Common Food Allergies

Some common foods do cause severe allergic reactions to people, this is not an ingredient, but the food itself and they are,

  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts
  • Shellfish
  • Fish
  • Wheat
  • Sesame

Many people are allergic to an additive or preservative put into the food such as MSG.

You can take action and become involved with educational initiatives such as upcoming seminars, training programs, conferences, summits, support groups, and Internet webinars.

 

 

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What is Pollen?

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Image is from Everyday Health

If you’ve ever seen acorns scattered about a residential lawn – or countryside, for that matter – as the fall seasons approaches, then you intuitively know what pollen is. Much like trees cast off these acorns so that they can perhaps grow into trees later on down the line, many plants, weeds and grasses cast off pollen in order to reproduce. The grains are usually very small – microscopic, in fact – and so are carried great distances on a springtime breeze.

How Does Pollen Affect People?

The primary mechanism by which pollen in its natural state affects people is the size of the individual grains. Some trees cast off large grains of pollen that are sticky (usually, these are fruit-bearing trees), and these don’t generally cause allergic reactions. The large size restricts the ability of the wind to carry them far, and the stickiness tends to keep them rooted to the ground or other surface objects.

The microscopic grains of pollen are the troublemakers for many humans; the breeze can carry them quite some distance from the progenitor, and they can get inside your body through your mouth and nose. Once inside, your immune system treats the pollen as an invasion and marshals a response to it. This is precisely what most allergies are; the following are the resulting symptoms of your body’s defense:

  • Sneezing may be one of the most common causes to breathing in the fine powder that comprises pollen
  • Runny or stuffy nose – general nasal congestion
  • Watery eyes
  • An allergic response can trigger a decrease in your ability to taste and smell food
  • Sinus pressure
  • Asthmatic reactions
  • Hay fever
  • Allergic rhinitis

Allergies to pollen can’t be cured – and the reason why makes sense when you think about it. After all, your body is actually trying to protect you from an alien invasion of very fine pollen grains. The origin is the immune system, itself, and it is conducting what would ordinarily be its most useful service. It simply doesn’t recognize that pollen is generally harmless; it simply “knows” that it shouldn’t be in your body and so takes steps to defend against it.

How Can You Fight Pollen-Induced Allergies?

Most health professionals agree that avoidance is the best measure when feasible. Plants such as ragweed, oak pollen and grass pollen are trying fertilize at the same time every year – sometime around late spring and very early fall.

There are national broadcasts detailing days when you can expect high pollen counts; usually, the fine powder is in the air in the early to late morning hours. If you can avoid it, or protect your nose and mouth, then this will significantly reduce the chances that you trigger an immune response. Dry, windy days are when people who are susceptible to pollen allergies should try to stay indoors as much as possible. Invest in a dust mask if you must go outside, and make sure to close windows and doors to avoid letting in insects that carry pollen grains.

If you are beset by allergy symptoms, then you can always see a doctor. Most are well aware of the range of allergens, and can refer you to a specialist if needed. Over-the-counter antihistamines work adequately well for many people, as well as decongestants to provide relief for symptoms. There are home remedies to help you avoid pollen altogether, such as HEPA filters, dehumidifiers and air conditioning. An allergy shot is always an option as the season for plant fertilization nears; these tend to do a great job of dampening your immune response to pollen.

 

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Different Types of Pollen

local-pollen-counts

Image is from Pollen.com

As we roll into spring and then the summer months (they’ll be here before you know it), the presence of pollen in the air starts to become a concern for millions of Americans. In fact, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (the AAFA), about 18 million adults and 7 million kids will be affected each year by dust and pollen. It is helpful to know what kind of pollen is in the atmosphere, and the sources from which they derive.

Grass – Ryegrass Pollen

Even if you didn’t know the name before now, if you’ve ever been to a rural area where farmland is abundant and the vegetation is lush, then you’ve likely seen the tall green stalks of ryegrass. Although there are ryegrass extracts that are marketed to help with noncancerous enlarged prostate glands, the natural pollen can cause allergic reactions in those susceptible to it.

Grass – Timothy Grass Pollen

This pollen derives as the offshoot of a grass that grows up to four feet tall. The spores are especially small, and you may inhale them without knowing it – only to be beset by a mild to serious allergic reaction later in the day. Allergy season for Timothy grass pollen generally starts in June and ends a month later.

Tree Pollen

Tree Pollen is of a wide variety, and includes Willow, Hazelnut, Cedar, Hornbeam, Birch, Alder, Olive and more. Early spring is the harbinger, which is around very late March. Usually the dust is even smaller than grass pollen, and so can be carried very far on the wind. An interesting fact is that trees that bear flowers tend to have larger pollen grains, which don’t trigger allergies nearly as much since they can’t easily be carried on the wind.

The closer you live to tress such as Cottonwood or Elm, the more likely you could be subject to allergies caused by their airborne pollen. The good news is that there are alerts as when the pollen count is high, and all you have to do is avoid being outside unprotected during those times (as well as keeping your windows and doors shut). Also – avoid eating the fruits from such trees, as they can trigger your propensity to getting an allergic reaction from the pollen.

Weed Pollen

Weeds are plants that pollinate, too, and the some of the ones to watch out for are Ragweed, Sorrel, Mugwort, Goosefoot and Nettle weeds.

In particular, Mugwort weed releases very allergenic pollen that derives from a 6-foot tall plant in North America, Asia and Europe. You’ll find it in rural areas and places where the terrain is rough; where a hardy plant is required in order to survive. In North America, pollen season for Mugwort is from late summer to early fall – not very long. However, it is known to cause oral allergy syndrome and hay fever.

Nettle actually comes in a large variety of weeds; all of which generally possess small spikes. There’s the Stinging Nettle, Dwarf Nettle, California Nettle and Dog Nettle as examples. Strangely enough, nettle leaves can also be used to help relieve allergies when made as a tea – it has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. In its pure form, however, the pollen it releases can cause you to sneeze all summer long.

For the most part, the types of pollen that exist are covered in the general categories of trees, grass and weed. They all have the potential to react negatively with your immune system, which treats it as a foreign object and engages an immune response.

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