February 6, 2023

What You Need to Know about Pollen Allergies and Addressing It

Do you know what a pollen allergy is? If that word doesn't ring any bell, then the other term for it might help you understand what it is all about. Also known as hay fever, a pollen allergy is a type of seasonal allergic reaction that is caused by pollen. Pollen allergies are one of the most common allergies and can affect people at different times of the year depending on the type of pollen that is in the air. It is caused by pollen, as you might have guessed, which is a fine powder released by certain plants during their reproductive cycle. And, if you have a pollen allergy, you know how annoying it is to deal with it.

Today, we want to delve deep into pollen allergy, talking about everything that you should know about it, such as the types of pollen allergy there are and how to address it:

What Types of Pollen Allergy Are There?

There are several different types of pollen allergies, and it is important to know the differences to receive the proper treatment. Here are some of the most common types of pollen allergies:

1. Birch Pollen Allergy

Birch trees are a common tree found throughout North America and Europe, and their pollen is one of the main causes of allergies during the spring months. When the trees bloom, they release millions of microscopic grains of pollen that float through the air. These grains can cause a range of reactions in people who are allergic to them, from runny noses and watery eyes to more serious symptoms.

2. Oak Pollen Allergy

Oak pollen is not as irritating as other tree pollen, but it can hang around in the atmosphere for prolonged periods. This can cause serious reactions in people who are sensitive to pollen, even though oak pollen is not as strong as other pollen.

3. Ragweed Pollen Allergy

Ragweed plants are a type of weed that produces an enormous amount of pollen during the late summer and early fall months. This pollen can travel far distances, even in mild winter conditions, and can cause allergies in people who are sensitive to it.

4. Grass Pollen Allergy

During the warmer months, certain types of grass can cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to pollen. Perennial rye, Bermuda grass, and bluegrass are the most common culprits. Exposure to these grasses can lead to various symptoms, including sneezing, coughing, itchy or watery eyes, and a runny nose.

What Are the General Symptoms of Pollen Allergies?

The most common symptom of pollen allergy is sneezing. When inhaled pollen, it can cause an inflammatory reaction in the body, resulting in sneezing, a runny nose, and itchy eyes. Other common symptoms include coughing, itchy throat, and nasal congestion. Some people may also experience headaches, fatigue, and difficulty breathing.

In addition to these symptoms, some people may experience skin reactions such as hives, rashes, and eczema. If your pollen allergy is severe, you may also develop asthma or hay fever.

How Is Pollen Allergy Diagnosed

To diagnose pollen allergy, your doctor may do a physical exam and ask about your symptoms and medical history. They may also order tests to confirm a diagnosis. These tests may include skin tests or blood tests.

Skin tests involve placing a tiny amount of an allergen, such as pollen, on the skin and then pricking the skin with a needle. If the skin becomes red and itchy, it means that you're allergic to that particular allergen.

Blood tests measure the level of antibodies in your blood. These antibodies are produced by your body when it's exposed to an allergen. The higher the level of antibodies, the more likely you are to have an allergic reaction.

Your doctor may also ask you to keep a diary of your symptoms, including when they occur and how long they last. This diary can help your doctor determine what allergen is causing your allergic reaction.

How Is Pollen Allergy Treated?

The first step in treating pollen allergy is to reduce your exposure to the allergen. This may include avoiding activities outdoors during peak pollen season, wearing a face mask when outside, and keeping windows and doors closed. In addition, you can use an air purifier to reduce pollen levels in your home.

If reducing exposure doesn't adequately control your symptoms, you may need to seek medical help. An allergist can perform skin or blood tests to determine which pollen you are allergic to and suggest appropriate treatments.

The most common treatment for pollen allergies is medications. These include antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal sprays, which can help reduce inflammation and relieve congestion. Sometimes, your doctor may prescribe a stronger medication, such as a steroid or an immunotherapy injection, which can help reduce your sensitivity to allergens.

In addition to medications, several lifestyle changes can help reduce allergy symptoms. These include avoiding triggers such as pet dander, dust mites, and mold, as well as reducing stress levels and getting enough sleep.

Finally, some alternative treatments can help reduce allergy symptoms, such as acupuncture, herbal remedies, and vitamin supplements. While these treatments are not always backed by scientific evidence, some people find that they are helpful in managing their allergy symptoms.

How Can I Prevent Pollen Allergy?

Although there is no cure for pollen allergy, there are several steps you can take to reduce your exposure to pollen and help prevent symptoms.

1. Stay Indoors during Peak Pollen Times

Pollen counts are highest in the morning, so try to stay indoors between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. Pollen counts are also highest on hot, dry, and windy days, so try to stay indoors on these days as well.

2. Wear a Mask When Necessary

If you must go outside during peak pollen times, wear a mask to reduce your exposure to pollen.

3. Keep Windows and Doors Closed

To reduce the amount of pollen that enters your home, keep your windows and doors closed.

4. Shower and Change Your Clothes After Spending Time Outdoors

Pollen can accumulate on your clothing, so shower and change your clothes after spending time outdoors to reduce exposure.

5. Vacuum and Dust Regularly

Pollen can collect where your eyes can't see, such as beneath your table or inside the carpets. Vacuuming and dusting regularly can help reduce the amount of pollen in your home.

6. Use an Air Purifier

Air purifiers can help reduce the amount of pollen in the air, so using one in your home can help reduce your symptoms. Just remember to clean your air purifier often to ensure the cleanest air.

7. Use Antihistamines

While it doesn't help to prevent pollen allergy, it can help control it. Over-the-counter antihistamines can help reduce the symptoms of pollen allergy to make your life a little more comfortable.

By following these tips, you can help reduce your exposure to pollen and help prevent pollen allergy symptoms. However, if your symptoms are severe, you should consult a doctor for further advice.

What's Allergen Immunotherapy and Who Can Benefit from It?

Allergen immunotherapy, also known as desensitization or hyposensitization, is a medical treatment for allergies. It reduces the body's sensitivity to allergens, which trigger an allergic reaction. The goal of allergen immunotherapy is to reduce or eliminate the symptoms of allergies, such as sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, coughing, and asthma. It is most commonly used to treat allergies to pollen, dust mites, and animal dander, but it can also be used to treat food allergies and venom allergies.

Allergen immunotherapy is not a cure for allergies, but it can help reduce symptoms. People who benefit most from this treatment are those who suffer from allergies that are not well-controlled by other treatments, such as medications or avoidance of triggers.

People who may benefit from allergen immunotherapy include those with

  • Asthma
  • Severe allergies that cannot be controlled with medications
  • Allergies to multiple substances, such as dust mites, pollen, animal dander, and mold
  • Allergies to venom, such as bee stings
  • Allergies to certain foods

How Is Allergen Immunotherapy Given?

Allergen immunotherapy is usually given in two different forms: subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT) or sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT). SCIT involves injecting small amounts of an allergen directly into the skin, while SLIT involves taking drops or tablets containing an allergen under the tongue.

In both forms of immunotherapy, the amount of allergen is increased slowly over time. This allows the body to become accustomed to the allergen and helps to reduce the allergic response. Immunotherapy aims to reduce symptoms, prevent future allergic reactions, and improve quality of life.

How Much Does Allergen Immunotherapy Cost?

The first step to determining the cost of allergen immunotherapy is to visit an allergist. During the appointment, the allergist will take a detailed medical history, conduct physical exams, and perform skin and blood tests to determine the exact cause of the allergy. The allergist will then be able to recommend the most effective treatment option. Depending on the type of allergen immunotherapy chosen, the cost may vary.

For example, subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT), which involves injecting small amounts of the allergen into the skin, typically costs between $150 and $400 for the initial consultation and about $150 to $300 per injection. Allergen immunotherapy drops (AIT), which involve placing drops of the allergen under the tongue, cost between $49 and $99 a month.

In addition to the consultation cost and the treatment itself, patients may need to pay for additional tests and medications. For example, some patients may need to have RAST or skin prick tests to determine the cause of their allergy. These tests can cost between $50 and $300 each. Additionally, patients may need to purchase medications to reduce the severity of their symptoms. These medications can range from over-the-counter antihistamines to prescription medications.

Overall, the cost of allergen immunotherapy can vary depending on the type of treatment, the severity of the allergy, and other factors. It is important to talk to an allergist to determine the best treatment option for your specific needs and budget.

How Long Does Allergen Immunotherapy Take and Last?

The answer depends on the individual, the severity of their allergies, and the treatment they receive. Generally, allergen immunotherapy treatments can range from a few weeks to several months, depending on the individual and the specific allergens being treated.

For instance, if you're receiving sublingual immunotherapy or SLIT, you will typically need to take the drops or tablets daily for at least three months. However, this timeframe can be longer depending on the severity of your allergies.

On the other hand, if you're receiving allergy shots, you can expect to have to take the shots once a week for at least three to six months. After that, you will have to continue taking shots once every two to four weeks for a period of three to five years.

When it comes to the longevity of allergen immunotherapy, most people will experience a reduction of symptoms within a few weeks to a few months. However, the effects of the treatment can last anywhere from a few years to a lifetime.

Ultimately, the length and duration of allergen immunotherapy depend on the individual and the specific allergens being treated. It's important to speak to your doctor about your options and the expected timeline for your particular treatment plan.


Pollen allergy can be frustrating, but with the right treatment plan, you can manage your symptoms and reduce your exposure to allergens. If your symptoms are severe or you are not responding to treatment, it's important to talk to your doctor. They will help you discover the right treatments you need and what you can do to help alleviate the symptoms of pollen allergy. Remember, while it is a problem that doesn't really have a cure, it doesn't mean you have to live a life forever plagued by the condition! Reach out to help and enjoy a more comfortable life as soon as possible.

Curex is an online allergy clinic offering custom treatments to help individuals get desensitized to various allergies. If you are looking for pollen allergy treatments, contact us today!

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