What can i do about pollen allergies

Your GP might prescribe steroids.

If steroids and other hay fever treatments do not work, your GP may refer you for immunotherapy.

This means you’ll be given little amounts of pollen as an injection or tablet to slowly build up your immunity to pollen.

This helpful of treatment generally starts in the winter about 3 months before the hay fever season begins.

So Boiling in Here

Reports of pollen allergies first appeared around the time of the industrial revolution. Whether that means that these allergies were the product of pollution, new diets, or changes in hygiene isn’t clear. What is clear, writes Charles W.

Schmidt in this month’s issue of Environmental Health Perspectives, is the role of climate change in contemporary pollen allergies.

“When exposed to warmer temperatures and higher levels of CO2, plants grow more vigorously and produce more pollen than they otherwise would,” writes Schmidt.

Warming temperatures in some areas, love the northern United States, extend the periods during which plants release pollen. The combined effect of warming temperatures and more CO2 means that the quantity of pollen in the air has been increasing and will continue to increase as climate change worsens.

What can i do about pollen allergies

(According to a study presented by Bielory, pollen counts could double by )

This is bad news not just for people who own allergies, but also for people who don’t.

“In general, the longer you’re exposed to an allergen, the more likely you are going to be sensitized to that allergen,” Bielory says. People who own pollen allergies may experience intensified symptoms, and people who don’t normally own pollen allergies may start to.

Already, Schmidt writes, there “is evidence suggesting that hay fever prevalence is rising in numerous parts of the world.”

Does Honey Help?

With the increase in the number of pollen allergy-sufferers, it’s understandable that people own begun to seek natural ways to alleviate their symptoms.

What can i do about pollen allergies

Some own even argued that consuming honey will build up your resistance because it contains pollen.

But as Rachel E. Gross points at out Slate, that theory’s just honey bunches of lies; mainly because the pollen that makes you sneeze doesn’t come from flowers.

In the spring, the pollen that gives humans allergies comes from trees. In the summer, people own allergic reactions to grass pollen; and at the finish finish of summer and beginning of drop, people start to suffer from pollinating weeds—especially ragweed, which has spread from the United States to Europe and the Middle East.

Really, the “natural” ways to deal with pollen allergies are to stay clean, hold your windows closed, and go exterior when pollen counts are lower, such as after it rains.

What can i do about pollen allergies

If your symptoms are bad enough, take over-the-counter medication or see an allergist. And if you don’t mind the risk of malnutrition or life-threatening diseases, there’s always hookworms.

Follow Becky Little on .

As spring blooms each year, another season blooms along with it: Pollen season.

When plants grow and blossom, they also release tons of pollen into the air, to the detriment of numerous people's respiratory systems.

Now, thanks to climate change and increasing carbon dioxide levels, each year's pollen season gets worse.

"Longer growing seasons, along with higher temperatures and carbon dioxide levels, can increase pollen production, intensifying and lengthening the allergy season," according to a report by the National Climate Assessment.


Stanley Fineman, past president American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, told Trade Insider that he in fact does see more people with allergies and more complaints of allergy symptoms.

Wheezing and asthma related ER visits increase % on days with high pollen counts, a study based in the country's south east found. Separate studies in New England, New York City, and California found similar results, high pollen counts correlate with more ER visits.

Allergies in general are on the rise possibly because of what's called the hygiene hypothesis. As people start living in more sterile and urban environments their immune systems aren't exposed to microbes and don't know what to do when they encounter allergens or bacteria, making allergies and auto-immune diseases more prevalent, Scientific American's podcast Science Talk explains.

But it seems the hygiene hypothesis can't explain everything about the increase in pollen allergies, because researchers found that specific sensitivity to ragweed pollen, which up to 20% of Americans are allergic to, increased by 15% over a four year period.

As you can see in the graph under, from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, pollen levels own been getting worse each year, for at least the final 20 years, as carbon dioxide levels rise:

While digging into this "pollen crisis" Trade Insider discovered that there is no single, consolidated source of national pollen counts.

To make this graph the foundation took data on ragweed pollen, one of the most common allergens, from local pollen counting stations around the nation and used it as a proxy for every pollen producing plants.

What can i do about pollen allergies

In the graph, the y-axis on the left shows how much carbon dioxide was in the air for a given year, and the y-axis on the correct shows the average quantity of pollen that ragweed plants produced that year.

If you glance at the chart above you'll see that the amounts of pollen ragweed produces only went up by 1 gram per plant in almost 20 years. But Mike Tringale, SVP of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, told Trade Insider by email that slight increases, such as the graph shows, can make clinical differences for people with allergies.

Ragweed actually works beautiful well as a proxy since it's so common, and scientists found similar trends in other plants love allergy-causing grasses.

And another study of ragweed found that the plant's pollen is more potent, meaning it can cause worse symptoms, than before thanks to climate change increasing the quantity of carbon dioxide in the air and causing warmer drought-like conditions.

This gets even worse the closer plants are to sources of carbon dioxide &#x; ragweed growing next to highways produces more potent pollen than ragweed growing away from large roads.

It seems that the pollution from the cars increases the potency of the ragweed pollen.

But pollen isn't getting worse just in the US, the same changes are happening to Europe's pollen season.

What can i do about pollen allergies

And ragweed, one of the worst plants for allergies in the US, is invading Europe and beyond.

In the United States up to 30% of adults and 40% of children suffer from nasal allergies to pollen, mold spores, dust mites, or animal dander. And more than 10 million people in Britain suffer from hay fever.

Once a grain of pollen, or other allergen, enters an allergic person's nose, mouth, or eyes that person's immune system overreacts to the harmless particles.

This overreaction causes the dreaded stir of snuffly noses, watery eyes, and in really bad cases, sets off a bout of allergy-induced asthma, which can be deadly if untreated.

Hay fever is generally worse between tardy March and September, especially when it’s warm, humid and windy. This is when the pollen count is at its highest.

How to treat hay fever yourself

There’s currently no cure for hay fever and you cannot prevent it.

But you can do things to ease your symptoms when the pollen count is high.


  1. wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes
  2. vacuum regularly and dust with a damp cloth
  3. hold windows and doors shut as much as possible
  4. stay indoors whenever possible
  5. shower and change your clothes after you own been exterior to wash pollen off
  6. put Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen
  7. purchase a pollen filter for the air vents in your car and a vacuum cleaner with a special HEPA filter


  1. do not spend too much time exterior
  2. do not dry clothes exterior – they can catch pollen
  3. do not smoke or be around smoke – it makes your symptoms worse
  4. do not hold unused flowers in the home
  5. do not cut grass or stroll on grass
  6. do not let pets into the home if possible – they can carry pollen indoors

Allergy UK has more tips on managing hay fever.

Check if you own hay fever

Symptoms of hay fever include:

  1. a runny or blocked nose
  2. headache
  3. earache
  4. pain around your temples and forehead
  5. loss of smell
  6. sneezing and coughing
  7. itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears
  8. itchy, red or watery eyes
  9. feeling tired

If you own asthma, you might also:

  1. have a tight feeling in your chest
  2. be short of breath
  3. wheeze and cough

Hay fever will final for weeks or months, unlike a freezing, which generally goes away after 1 to 2 weeks.

A pharmacist can assist with hay fever

Speak to your pharmacist if you own hay fever.

They can give advice and propose the best treatments, love antihistamine drops, tablets or nasal sprays to assist with:

  1. itchy and watery eyes and sneezing
  2. a blocked nose

Find a pharmacy

Non-urgent advice: See a GP if:

  1. your symptoms are getting worse
  2. your symptoms do not improve after taking medicines from the pharmacy


What can i do about pollen allergies