What Hay Fever Medications Could I Use
The treatments prescribed for allergy control the symptoms and reactions they do not cure the condition. Find out more about treatments from our factsheet.
Antihistamines are probably the best known type of allergy medication, and most are readily available from a pharmacy without prescription. However, there are a number of different types of antihistamines some have been used for many years, some are improvements on old drugs, and new antihistamines are being developed all the time.
While antihistamines used to have a reputation for making people drowsy, more modern antihistamines only occasionally have those side effects. These can be used on their own for mild hay fever or in combination with an intranasal steroid spray for moderate to severe symptoms You can find out more about how antihistamines work on our Allergy Medications factsheet.
Diagnosis And Treatment Of Tree Pollen Allergies
Trees often release pollen before other plants do. If you experience allergy symptoms early in the spring, you might have a tree pollen allergy. The symptoms of tree pollen allergies include:
- Sneezing runny or stuffy nose
- Red, watery, and puffy eyes
- Itchy nose, ears, eyes, and mouth
To get a definitive diagnosis of tree pollen allergies, youll need to see a doctor. They can make a diagnosis through allergy testing.
Potential tests that doctors can use to determine your allergies include:
- Skin prick test: For this test, ahealthcare provider places a small amount of tree pollen on your skin, then pricks or scratches the skin through the pollen. If redness, itching, or swelling develops at the site within 20 minutes, youre likely allergic to tree pollen. The severity of your reaction indicates the severity of your allergy.
- Specific IgE blood test, Radioallergosorbetnt or ImmunoCap:For this test, you’ll need to give a blood sample. In the lab, a small amount of tree pollen is added to your blood, then a lab technician measures the number of allergy antibodies your blood produces to fight the allergen.
Stuffy And Congested Nose
In some people, the opposite of symptom one can happen. You may end up with a stuffy and congested nose, rather than a runny nose, depending on the day. You may find it hard to breathe through your nose, which can make it hard to breathe properly throughout the day, and may interfere with sleep, too.
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What Foods Worsen Tree Pollen Allergies
Before clearing food out of your fridge and cabinets, its important to note that not all tree pollen-sensitive patients will react to all the foods listed below.
The severity of your tree pollen allergy will play a role in the severity of your reaction to these foods.
Some tree pollen-sensitive patients can eat the foods listed below without any issues, while others may experience mild allergy symptoms to severe symptoms.
That said, if you are allergic to any of these tree pollens, its generally best to avoid eating foods that contain the plants related food proteins for a certain period to see how you feel, then avoid it entirely if you find that it triggers your symptoms.
Causes Of Tree Pollen Allergy
According to sources already cited, an allergic reaction is defined as a process by which the individual recognizes an element that is usually harmless as a pathogenic substance. Consequently, the immune system acts in a wrong way in order to eliminate it.
There are a large number and variety of cells involved in this immune mechanism. In summary, we can say that lymphocytes get active with the entry of the pathogen and synthesize substances, such as immunoglobulin E .
This causes a cascade reaction that encourages the release of histamine, chemical factors, and other compounds. These are responsible for the typical symptoms of people when they come into contact with pollen, as they cause local inflammation of the upper respiratory tract.
Because the substance in question enters through the nose and mouth, it is an allergen of an inhalant nature. The name of the specific allergy to pollen is pollinosis.
According to the United States National Library of Medicine, the first exposures to the allergen are mild. Unfortunately, as the person comes into contact with the substance more, immune responses can lead to much more severe clinical conditions.
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What Is A Pollen Allergy
Pollen is one of the most common triggers of seasonal allergies. Many people know pollen allergy as hay fever. Experts usually refer to pollen allergy as seasonal allergic rhinitis.
Each spring, summer, and fall and even in the winter in some states plants release tiny pollen grains to fertilize other plants of the same species. Most of the pollen that causes allergic reactions comes from trees, grasses, and weeds. These plants make small, light, and dry pollen grains that travel by the wind. They then can find their way into your eyes, nose, and lungs, causing allergy symptoms if you have a pollen allergy.
Flowering plants that spread their pollen by insects like roses and some trees, like cherry and pear trees usually do not cause allergic rhinitis.
Do You Live in an Allergy Capital?
Your location can have an impact on your seasonal allergies. AAFAs Allergy Capitals report looks at the top 100 most challenging cities in the continental United States to live with seasonal pollen allergies.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America produces this report to:
- Help people recognize, prevent, and manage allergy symptoms
- Help communities identify where the needs of people with allergic diseases can be better met
- Raise awareness about the impact of seasonal allergies and provide helpful information to improve the quality of life for people who experience them
Tree Pollen Allergy
Some of the trees that cause the most allergy symptoms are:
How Do You Test For Birch Pollen Allergy
If you suspect that you suffer from a birch pollen allergy, you should first keep a symptom diary and discuss your symptoms with your doctor.Birch pollen allergy can then be tested for by a skin prick test or a blood test. This can determine whether your body is sensitised to birch pollen allergens that is, it has formed antibodies against them.A pollen allergy test whether it is performed at home or at your doctors surgery is designed to screen for allergies to different types of pollen. These tests involve taking a small blood sample and sending it in to a specialised medical laboratory. The laboratory analyses the concentration of IgE antibodies against birch pollen and various other allergens such as hazel, alder and various grasses.
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What Trees Cause The Most Allergy Symptoms
Some trees can cause more trouble for allergy sufferers than others. Mountain cedar, for example, is notorious for causing symptoms for allergy sufferers in Texas from December to February as it releases huge puffs of pollen visible to the naked eye and can often look like smoke in the air. Maple and oak are other prevalent and problematic trees, as they seem to also cause severe symptoms for allergy sufferers as there is not much of an âescapeâ from them.
People with tree pollen allergies sometimes assume that trees with colorful flowers — like apple or cherry trees — will trigger their symptoms. But flowering trees usually have bigger, stickier pollen that doesn’t blow in the wind or cause symptoms.
Hereâs a list of trees are what we find cause the most symptoms:
What Trees Cause The Most Symptoms
Some tree pollen causes more problems than others. Some of the trees that cause the most symptoms are:
Being allergic to some trees could cause you to react to certain foods. It happens because the tree pollen is similar to the protein in some fruits, vegetables and nuts.1 Your immune system gets confused and cant tell the difference between the two. Eating these foods may cause your mouth or face to itch or swell. These foods may include apples, cherries, pears and more. This is called oral allergy syndrome . Birch and alder trees cause the most OAS food reactions.
In some cases, your tree pollen allergy may cross-react with some nuts, like peanuts or almonds. If you have mouth itching or swelling while eating nuts, you could have a more serious, life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis, which is common with nut allergies. If this happens to you, call your doctor right away.
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Symptoms For Oral Allergy Syndrome
Oral Allergy Syndrome is most common in people allergic to tree pollens, such as birch, alder, oak, maple, or elm.
The most common symptoms of OAS are itching and swelling in the mouth and throat, hives, runny nose, sneezing, scratchiness on the roof of the mouth, and other skin irritations.
During allergy season, most people with seasonal allergies are already dealing with recurring symptoms. So eating certain foods that further trigger their allergies only worsens their current symptoms.
In severe cases, Oral Allergy Syndrome can cause anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction. However, the most severe reactions are rare and are not typical.
Nevertheless, if you experience any of these symptoms after eating something, its important to see an allergist to confirm whether you have Oral Allergy Syndrome.
Some allergy sufferers deal with gastrointestinal issues when consuming tree pollen-related foods.
Immunotherapy For Allergies To Pollen
In some cases, your clinical immunology/allergy specialist may suggest allergen immunotherapy which is also known as desensitisation. It involves a series of injections, tablets, sprays or drops given under the tongue of very small doses of the allergen over a long time. This can help to improve tolerance of the pollens that are triggering your allergy and reduce symptoms.
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What Measures Can Be Taken For Pollen Allergy Prevention
As with most allergies, the best way of preventing an allergic reaction to pollen is by avoiding it. Following pollen allergy remedies at home might come in handy in preventing your exposure to pollen and resultant allergic reactions.
Things you should do if you have pollen allergy
- Check the pollen count before heading out
- Keep windows closed during pollen season
- Dry your clothes in a cloth dryer instead of drying them outside
- Bathe and wash your hair with shampoo daily after being outside for a signification period
- Wash your bedding in hot, soapy water at least once a week
- Wear sunglasses and a hat
Things you shouldnt do if you have pollen allergy
- Do not go outside when the pollen count is high
- Do not maintain close contact with pets that spend a lot of time outdoors
- Do not engage in gardening or landscaping activities during peak pollen season
Sublingual Immunotherapy Allergy Drops
Immunotherapy introduces small, gradually increasing amounts of your allergen to your immune system. This process re-trains your immune system to ignore these harmless allergy triggers instead of responding with an allergic reaction. Most people are familiar with subcutaneous allergy shots, but sublingual allergy drops are just as effective and they dont require painful needles or a trip to the doctor. Sublingual immunotherapy allergy drops can be self-administered under the tongue in the comfort of your own home.
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Modern And Efficient At
Unlike self-diagnosis, an allergy test can reveal the full breadth of your allergies. This way you know exactly what youre allergic to and how you can treat your symptoms.
Tips To Manage Your Allergy
Get tested. It’s important to know which trees trigger your allergies. Once you do, you can figure out how to minimize your exposure to their pollen.
Avoid contact. Itâs simple: Stay inside when pollen counts are high. Keep your windows shut. If you are going outside wear a baseball cap, and when you come in, rinse your face and wash your hands — and you may even want to change your clothes.
Remove trigger trees. If one in your yard clearly causes symptoms, prune back the branches to reduce the amount of pollen it releases. You could also take it out and replace it with one thatâs less likely to cause allergies, like apple, cherry, dogwood, fir, or pine trees.
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How To Prevent Pollen Allergies
As with other allergies, the best way to prevent symptoms of a pollen allergy is to avoid the allergen.
Pollen is difficult to avoid, though. Still, you may be able to minimize your exposure to pollen by:
- staying indoors on dry, windy days
- having others take care of gardening or yard work during peak seasons
- wearing a dust mask when pollen counts are high
- closing doors and windows when pollen counts are high
To find out the pollen counts in your area, check an app or the weather section of your local newspaper.
How Can I Prevent An Allergic Reaction To Pollen
There are actions you can take to reduce allergic reactions to pollen:
- Start taking allergy treatments before pollen season begins. Most allergy treatments work best when taken this way. This allows the treatments to prevent your body from releasing histamine and other chemicals that cause your symptoms.
- Limit your outdoor activities when pollen counts are high. This will cut down the amount of pollen allergen you inhale and help reduce your symptoms.
- Keep windows closed during pollen season or peak pollen times.
- Use central air conditioning or air cleaners with a CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly® filter and/or HEPA filtration to reduce indoor airborne allergens .
- Wear sunglasses and cover your hair when going outside. This will help keep pollen out of your eyes and off your hair.
- Shower daily before going to bed. This will remove pollen from your body and keep it off your bedding.
- Wash bedding in hot, soapy water once a week.
- Limit close contact with pets that spend a lot of time outdoors. Wipe furry animals off when they come inside or bathe them weekly .
- Change and wash clothes worn during outdoor activities.
- Dry your clothes in a clothes dryer or inside, not on an outdoor line.
- Watch pollen counts and forecasts. Many local weather reports will give pollen counts or forecasts. You can also visit websites like pollen.aaaai.org for pollen reports.
Visit aafa.org/certified to search for CERTIFIED products.
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When Is Mulberry Pollen Allergy Season
Mulberry pollen allergy season is relatively short, but it can be brutal. Typically, mulberry trees start producing pollen near the end of February and will end in April. The pollen tends to peak in March before tapering off gradually. When the mulberry pollen count is high, it tends to be very high, so allergy sufferers should take extra precautions to minimize the symptoms theyll have to deal with.
What Are Some Pollen Allergy Causes
Some people experience an allergic reaction to pollen because their immune system falsely believes pollen is dangerous. In an attempt to fight this unknown foreign invader, the immune system releases antibodies to attack these pollen particles. This process produces a chemical called histamine, which is one of the biggest pollen allergy causes and the major reason for the person experiencing pollen allergy symptoms.
People with pollen allergies may also have a tendency to develop mold and dust allergy and lead to certain other indoor allergies as well.
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What Is The Treatment For Pollen Allergy
In addition to trying to cut down your contact with pollen, there are certain over-the-counter and prescription medicines that may help reduce pollen allergy symptoms.
- Nasal corticosteroid sprays reduce inflammation in the nose and block allergic reactions. They are the most effective medicine type for allergic rhinitis because they can reduce all symptoms, including nasal congestion. Nasal corticosteroids have few side effects.
- Antihistamines come in pill, liquid, or nasal spray form. They can relieve sneezing and itching in the nose and eyes. They also reduce a runny nose and, to a lesser extent, nasal stuffiness. Look for a long-acting, non-drowsy antihistamine.
- are available as pills, liquids, nasal sprays, or drops. They help shrink the lining of the nasal passages and relieve nasal stuffiness. They generally are only used for a short time. Check with your doctor before using decongestants if you have high blood pressure, glaucoma, thyroid disease, or trouble urinating. They may cause issues if you have any of these conditions and they may interact with other prescription medicines.
- Leukotriene receptor antagonists block the action of important chemical messengers that are involved in allergic reactions.
- Cromolyn sodium is a nasal spray that blocks the release of chemicals that cause allergy symptoms, including histamine and leukotrienes. This medicine has few side effects, but you must take it four times a day.
Types of Allergies
Topical Treatments For Itchy Swollen Watery Eyes
For itchy, swollen eyes, oral medication does not tend to work as effectively as topical eye drops. Allergy eye drops generally contain topical antihistamines. Avoid the use of any product that contains a vasoconstrictor for more than two to three days to avoid rebound redness. Rebound redness is the recurrence of symptoms and can lead to eyes becoming dependent upon eye drops. Artificial tears will also help soothe irritated eyes.
Ask your pediatrician or nurse practitioner if you are interested in exploring other medication options or in long-term treatments such as immune therapy .
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