Top Tips for your Pollen Allergy
Do You Know Which Pollens You're Allergic To?
Knowing which plants trigger your allergic asthma will help you defend yourself.
By Dr. Sanjay Gupta
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It’s not enough to know you’re allergic to pollen, you need to know what kind. There are as many different kinds of pollens as there are plants, and each allergy sufferer is unique.
There are two things to look at when trying to figure out what triggers your allergic asthma: season and geography.
In the fall, pollen comes mostly from weeds like ragweed. In the spring, the trees begin producing pollen. Birch, oak, elm, and hickory are big culprits, but you may be allergic to one kind of tree and not another.
In the summer, grasses start producing pollen. If you are allergic to one grass pollen, chances are you’re allergic to all of them, but you can be allergic to tree pollen and not grass pollen, or vice versa.
Pine produces one of the biggest pollen grains. Since people can see it more easily (covering your windshield, for example) many people assume it must be one of the worst allergens. But in fact, the heaviness of pine pollen means it falls to the ground more quickly. It doesn’t linger in the air, so it’s less likely to produce an allergic reaction.
As for geography, if you look at the annual list of worst allergy/asthma cities, you’ll see Southern spots tend to crowd the top of the list. That’s because plants like warmer, wetter climates.
The coasts have sea breezes, which clear the air of pollen, and the mountains have fewer plants, so these areas tend to have fewer allergy sufferers.
But a terrible city for one sufferer may be fine for another.
Video: Allergy Symptoms & Treatments : How to Get Rid of a Pollen Allergy
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