Does Pollen Plague You with Allergy Symptoms?
Like any other
type of allergy, pollen allergies are the result of an immune system
gone mad. If you experience pollen allergies, you can bet that your
immune system is working too hard, trying to protect your body from
something relatively harmless. While the average immune system would
protect the body against a destructive invader, like a virus or
bacteria, people with pollen allergies have an immune system that
views plant pollen as the bad guy, subsequently blocking your nose,
eyes, and throat from allowing the pollen into your body. The result
is the pollen allergy symptoms you experience such as a runny nose,
watery eyes, and sore throat.
Pollen itself will
not hurt you, but the symptoms of pollen allergies can range from
annoying to life-threatening. Pollen, or pollens, are tiny particles
that are released by plants to help the plants create seeds and
reproduce. Pollen granules are practically microscopic, with a width
measuring less than the size of a human hair. Pollen comes from
all flowering plants such as roses, trees, grasses, and weeds. Pollen
from flowers is carried from plant to plant by insects, and therefore,
are not often associated with pollen allergies. Pollen from trees,
grasses, and weeds, on the other hand, are carried through the air
and land on all of us, which makes them the main culprits of pollen
allergies are divided into spring, summer, and fall pollen allergies.
Spring pollen allergies are caused by trees such as oak, elm, maple,
cypress, and birch. Summer pollen allergies are linked to grasses
including Bermuda, timothy, Johnson, and orchard grass. Those who
suffer from pollen allergies in the fall are reacting to weeds like
ragweed, sagebrush, and tumbleweed. Studies show that weeds are
the biggest source of pollen allergies in North America. A single
ragweed plant can release millions of pollen granules into the environment.
Depending on where
you live, the season for pollen allergies can begin as early as
January in southern states. Trees usually pollinate from February
to May, followed by grasses from May to July, and then weeds from
July through October. For those who must deal with the troubling
symptoms of pollen allergies, these seasons cannot end soon enough.