Need some allergy relief? If you have allergies, you know that you can run,
but you can't hide from seasonal pollen.
With the first deep breath of spring, more than 50 million Americans begin
their nearly year-round symptoms of sneezing, wheezing, coughing, snorting, and
itching. And millions of allergy sufferers seek allergy relief in prescription
medications that cost $6 billion dollars per year worldwide.
Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?
You catch a whiff of a co-worker's new fragrance, and within minutes, you
have a whopper of a headache.
You pop open that new bottle of dish-washing liquid, and by the time you've
washed the pots and pans, your hands and arms are covered in hives.
You walk into a friend's home and smell freshly baked pumpkin pie. Only
after you start sneezing uncontrollably and feeling dizzy, weak, and sick to
your stomach do you learn she hasn't been baking...
Let's be honest. If the miserable symptoms of pollen allergies don't push
you over the edge, some allergy relief medicines can. Sure, some older
allergy relief medicines ease your symptoms, but they can also leave you
feeling sluggish, sleepy, and unable to concentrate at work or school.
So how can something as miniscule as pollen make you feel absolutely awful?
And where do you turn for effective allergy relief when you're plagued by weeks
of impenetrable pollen?
What Is Pollen Anyway?
To know what you're up against, it's important to know something about
pollen. Pollen, the microscopic powdery granules of flowering plants, is the
mechanism for the fertilization of trees, grasses, and weeds.
While pollen from plants with bright flowers like roses rarely trigger
allergy symptoms, the tiny, dry pollens from grasses, trees, and weeds are the
main allergy culprits. Even though your yard may have no true pollen offenders,
pollen particulates blow in the wind. For example, one ragweed plant can
produce up to 1 billion pollen grains, and each grain can travel more than 100
miles from its source.
Every plant has a specific period of pollination. Although weather changes
can determine the pollen count in the air, the pollinating season stays
constant with trees pollinating first during springtime, grasses pollinating
from late spring to midsummer, and then weeds pollinating in late summer and
Need Allergy Relief When Pollen Counts Are High?
The best way to get allergy relief is to take allergy medicines on a regular
basis and start before pollen season hits, says William E. Berger, MD, MBA,
professor of medicine at the University of California, Irvine. Berger is
past president of the American College of Allergy and Immunology and author of
Allergies and Asthma for Dummies.