Do you suffer from pollen allergy symptoms?
If all of that sneezing, itching and congestion you suffer from tends to be seasonal, odds are good that pollen is to blame.
Pollen allergy symptoms are very similar to symptoms you might suffer when you’re having a bout with the common cold or the flu.
So how do you tell if it’s bad bugs or pernicious pollen grains that are dragging you under the weather?
If you have a cold or the flu, you’ll likely have the same sneezing, itching, congestion, runny nose and watery eyes that would be caused by pollen.
But you’ll also be suffering from other symptoms such as a sore throat and fever.
Another way to distinguish illness from allergies - and there’s really no pleasant, delicate way to say this – is to check your Kleenex.
The residue left in your Kleenex from a sneezing or nose-blowing session will tend to be thicker and less watery than nasal secretions from allergies.
If your symptoms are caused by pollen allergies, you won’t have the other nasty symptoms described above (unless you’re blessed with both problems at the same time!).
You won't have the aches and pains, the sore throat, the fever, and all the other problems associated with colds and flu-like illnesses.
That’s your good news.
The bad news is that your symptoms may not be going away anytime soon.
Allergy reactions caused by seasonal pollen can drag on for weeks until the plants finally stop pumping out pollen.
And unfortunately, many people are allergic to several different types of pollen.
Since different plants release pollen at different times of the year, the result for many people can be a marathon session of suffering. As the pollen begins to dry up from one plant source, another starts cranking it out.
It’s a cycle that can drag on from early spring to early winter.
Allergy symptoms aren’t generally considered to be serious, health-threatening illnesses (I’ll let you be the one to tell that to someone who’s going through a box of Kleenex a day!)
But for some people, a bout with pollen allergies can be akin to throwing gasoline on a fire.
For people who suffer from asthma, for example, pollen allergies can lead to a serious worsening of the illness.
And children who suffer from pollen allergies are more susceptible to developing illnesses such as ear infections and sinus infections.
Unfortunately, there’s no magic cure that will eliminate pollen allergy symptoms. There’s no magic pill, and no miracle food or supplement that will eliminate the problem – though some would have you believe otherwise.
There are some common-sense things you can do to minimize contact with airborne pollen. Things like:
And there are many pharmacological aids – both prescription and over-the-counter – that may help in alleviating the symptoms. An allergy specialist may even be able to help you avoid the symptoms altogether with a series of desensitizing shots.
Ask your doctor about that.
Pollen allergies can be quite miserable to live with – I know from personal experience.
But at least the suffering is for a good cause. After all, plants must produce pollen to reproduce. No pollen would mean no plants, and no plants would mean no food. And that would be a rather unpleasant scenario in its own right.
But I must say... I don’t know why there has to be such a thing as ragweed in this world!