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Pollen Allergies: Everything You Need To Know

The Hyfe Mind

|

March 11, 2021
CoughPro is not a medical product. It is a wellness app intended only for users to obtain a better understanding of their cough. It is not intended to diagnose, monitor, or treat any illness.

We at Hyfe, Inc., are a company devoted to working on tools to better understand the importance of cough. It is Hyfe’s intention in the future to seek regulatory approval for medical products that analyze cough in order that they may be used to diagnose, monitor, and facilitate better treatment of respiratory illnesses.

A man sneezing due to pollen allergies

Spring is a time for flowers to bloom and trees to burst with new greenery… yet, this beauty signals a nightmare for those who have pollen allergies. In other words, spring is a rough time for people with pollen allergies. If you're one of the millions who have seasonal pollen allergies, here are some things you should know. 

What Are Pollen Allergies?

Pollen is a fine powder produced by plants—namely, trees, grasses, weeds, and flowers. As a result, pollen spreads and fertilizes other plants of the same species. However, since this fine powder is light enough to travel through the air, people breathe it in mostly without choice. Moreover, pollen is one of the most common triggers for seasonal allergies. For instance, according to estimates for the U.S, 8.4% of children and 8.2% of adults were diagnosed with hay fever in 2015.

The immune system usually guards the body against infectious invaders such as viruses and bacteria to ward off infections. However, many people with pollen allergies tend to have an adverse immune response when they inhale the pollen. As their immune system mistakenly identifies this harmless pollen as dangerous invaders trying to get into the body, it results in a fight and, therefore, irritating symptoms such as:

  • Watery, red, itchy eyes
  • Swelling around the eyes
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Sneezing 
  • Occasionally fever 
  • Nasal congestion
  • Increased asthma attacks
  • Cough
  • Sore or itchy throat
  • Loss or decreased sense of smell or taste

Different Types of Pollen Allergies

There are hundreds of different species of plants that release pollen and are responsible for your allergic reaction. 

Birch 

During spring, birch pollen is one of the most common allergens in the air. As the catkins begin to bloom, their tiny pollen is scattered by the wind. A single birch tree can contain up to five million pollen grains, each of which can fly up to 100 yards from its parent.

Oak

While oak pollen is considered slightly allergenic compared to other tree pollen, it remains in the air for more extended periods. People with pollen allergies can have severe allergic reactions because of oak pollen.

Grass 

It causes some of the most difficult-to-treat and severe symptoms. Allergy injections and allergy pills, according to the AAAAI, can be beneficial in reducing the effects of grass pollen allergies.

Treatments for Allergies Due to Pollen

Pollen allergies rarely go away once developed, but the symptoms can easily be treated with allergy shots and medication thanks to advanced medical knowledge. Additionally, there are other treatments for this nightmarish condition:

  • Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. Antihistamines prevent the body from producing histamine. Decongestants can help you breathe more efficiently if your nose is stuffy.
  • Nasal irrigation. Using a neti pot to rinse out the mucus and pollen in your nose and airways with saline solution (saltwater) is a great way to flush out those annoying allergens. 
  • Allergy shots. If medication isn't sufficient to ease the symptoms, then a shot is a better way to do it. Allergy shots are a form of immunotherapy that entails a sequence of allergen injections. Thus, the shots alter your immune system's reaction to the allergen, reducing the intensity of allergic reactions. Within one to three years of starting allergy shots, you can feel full relief.

Though allergy can be very common, it can also be very dangerous in some cases. Therefore, you might need to keep an eye on your respiratory health, especially during this time of COVID. That's why having a personal tool to help you monitor your health each time you cough is truly useful.

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