Home  >  Health Encyclopedia  >  Health Encyclopedia Home

Health Encyclopedia

 

Health Encyclopedia Home



Allergens: PollenAlergenos: Polen

Allergens: Pollen

What is pollen?

Pollen is the tiny egg-shaped male cells of flowering plants, including trees, grasses, and weeds. Pollen is microscopic in size.

Pollen is the most common cause of seasonal allergic rhinitis, sometimes known as hay fever.

Which plants produce pollen that cause allergic reactions?

Plants that have powdery granules of pollen that are easily blown by the wind, such as:

  • Trees, such as oak, western red cedar, elm, birch, ash, hickory, poplar, sycamore, maple, cypress, walnut, catalpa, olive, and pecan.

  • Grasses, such as Timothy, Johnson, Bermuda, orchard, sweet vernal, red top, and some blue grasses.

  • Weeds, such as ragweed, sagebrush, pigweed, tumbleweed, Russian thistle, and cockle weed.

Most flowering plants, such as roses, have heavier, waxy pollens that are not as easily wind-blown.

When is pollen season?

Each plant has a pollen season. It usually starts in the spring, but may begin as early as January in the southern areas of the U.S. The season usually lasts until November.

Can allergic rhinitis in pollen season be prevented?

To lessen the effects of allergic rhinitis during pollen season, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology suggests the following:

  • Keep windows closed at night and use air conditioning, which cleans, cools, and dries the air.

  • Minimize outdoor activities early in the morning, between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m., when pollen is most prevalent.

  • Keep car windows closed when traveling.

  • Take a vacation to an area where pollen is not as prevalent, such as to the ocean.

  • Take the medications prescribed by your doctor.

  • Don't spend much time outdoors when the pollen count is high.

  • Don't rake leaves during pollen season.

  • If you are allergic to grass, wear a mask or have someone else mow the lawn.  

  • Don't hang bedding or clothing outside to dry.

 
Related Items
Quizzes
  Allergies Quiz
Adult Diseases and Conditions
  All About Allergy
  Treatment for Allergy
  Allergens: Animals
  Allergens: Chemical Sensitivity
  Allergens: Triggers of Allergy Attacks
  Diagnostic Procedures for Allergy
  Egg Allergy Diet
  Allergens: Food
  Glossary - Allergy and Asthma
  Home Page - Allergy and Asthma
  Allergen: Insect Stings
  Diet for Lactose Intolerance
  Milk Allergy Diet
  Online Resources - Allergy and Asthma
  Peanut Allergy Diet
  Shellfish Allergy Diet
  Topic Index - Allergy and Asthma
  Soy Allergy Diet
  Allergy and Asthma Statistics
  Symptomatic Conditions of Allergy
  Allergies and the Immune System
  Tree Nut Allergy Diet
  Wheat Allergy Diet
  Allergies
  Allergy Overview
Pediatric Diseases and Conditions
  All About Allergies in Children
  Allergy
  Treatment for a Child's Allergy
  Animals
  Cold vs. Allergy: How Do I Know the Difference?
  Dust Mites
  Diagnostic Procedures for Allergy in Children
  Immune Disorders
  Mold
  Pollen and Children
  Symptomatic Conditions of Allergy in Children
  Types of Allergens
  Insect Stings