Pollen Allergy (Hay Fever)

Pollen, which is found in the air in spring, causes allergic conditions. Pollen allergy, which has symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes, especially affects children. So how can we be protected from pollen allergy? 

What is Pollen Allergy?

Allergies are hypersensitive reactions of the immune system to substances that are not normally harmful. These reactions can occur throughout the body as well as in some cases only in certain areas (nose, throat and eyes).

Allergic symptom is called conjunctivitis if it occurs in the eye, allergic rhinitis if it is in the upper respiratory tract (nose and throat), and asthma if it occurs in the lung.

Pollen, on the other hand, is dust particles that are secreted by plants to reproduce and spread in the air with the effect of wind. Pollen is one of the most common triggers of seasonal allergies. It is commonly known as hay fever and its name in medicine is 'seasonal allergic rhinitis.'

Condition, that occurs with symptoms such as runny nose, itchy nose, nasal congestion, watery and red eyes, especially since the spring months, is called pollen allergy or seasonal allergic rhinitis.

Plants spread pollen grains in powder form to reproduce from every spring season (fall and summer for some plants). And these pollen particles spread by the wind cause symptoms of pollen allergy in people with allergic reactions.

Pollen particles, which freely circulate in the air, accumulate here by sticking to the nose, throat and eyes through breathing. Pollen allergy symptoms begin to appear after this stage.

Pollen Allergy Symptoms

Pollen allergy symptoms are mostly similar to upper respiratory diseases such as cold and flu. Symptoms of pollen allergy show itself especially in the seasons when the increase in pollen is most intense (spring, autumn and summer).

Symptoms appear throughout the season and can make you feel sick, tired and exhausted.

If pollen allergy symptoms are present, a specialist should be consulted. It should be remembered that allergic asthma can lead to progression of untreated pollen allergy.

Pollen allergy symptoms:

  • Runny nose
  • Shortness of breath and wheezing
  • Eye redness and itching
  • Sneeze
  • Bruises under the eyes
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Itching in the nose area (especially in children)
  • Sleep disturbance, insomnia
  • Itching in gum and larynx,
  • and most importantly, allergic asthma

If pollen allergy symptoms last less than 4 days or less than 4 weeks, it is called as "intermittent allergic rhinitis" and if it lasts more than 4 days or more than 4 weeks, it is called as 'permanent allergic rhinitis'.

Pollen allergy can be seen in people of all ages. But it is most common in children of developmental age. Pollen allergy in children may also be related to genetics. Almost 50% of people who suffer from pollen allergy also have an allergy condition in their family. This rate is higher in children with allergic rhinitis in their parents.

According to researches, 68% of children, whose both parents are suffering from allergy, have pollen allergy before the age of 10 and 85% before the age of 20.

Other Causes of Pollen Allergy

Pollen allergy can be caused by both genes from the family and environmental factors. In addition, air pollution, smoking, pet feeding, and giving ready-made food to babies before the age of 1 are also factors that can cause pollen allergy.

What Happens If Not Treated?

Pollen from trees, plants and herbs can spread to the nose and eyes. In this case, symptoms similar to upper respiratory diseases appear. Eye irritation and redness, runny nose and itching, nasal congestion, throat itching, burning sensation and sneezing in the throat are some of the frequently seen symptoms.

These symptoms negatively affect the quality of life. Especially in children, sleep and nutrition can be impaired. School performance may decrease as a result of deterioration of concentration. There may be bad temper due to headache, sneezing, itching.

If pollen allergy is not treated, it can cause sinusitis, otitis and asthma.

What should be done against pollen allergy?

It may be possible to reduce symptoms with some simple measures you can take against pollen allergy. The first and most important step towards pollen allergy should be an allergy test. Allergy test should determine which pollen type you are allergic to.

On the other hand, attention should be paid to the morning and noon hours when the pollen circulation is most intense. Especially in spring and summer, you should not go out in sunny weather.

In the allergy season;

  • Choose closed areas for social activities
  • Use hats and glasses
  • Since pollen may stick to your clothes, always change it when you come from outside.
  • Take a shower often
  • Keep your house doors and windows closed during peak hours of pollen
  • Get doctor's advice and consume your medications regularly
  • Mask can be used in severe symptom situations
  • Stay away from smoking and smoking areas
  • Stay away from grass and flowering environments as much as possible