South Florida has long been known for pollen-related allergies, often referred to as hay fever. An average of 15 percent to 20 percent of people in the United States suffer from it. It is important to recognize what pollen is, where it can be found, and symptoms and treatment.
Pollen is a powder containing microscopic parts of plant seeds. Plants use pollen from their flowers to fertilize themselves. The pollen is transferred from the flower of one plant to the other by insects and through the wind, which often travels great distances, making it easily inhalable through the nasal passages.
Prevention is key and can help pollen allergy patients minimize exposure. Spring blooming plants and grasses are often culprits. Knowing which plants in your vicinity produce more pollen than others is essential. Before stepping out of the house, make sure to check the daily pollen count at www.florida-allergy.com.
People who have a hereditary history of asthma or eczema also tend to be more susceptible to hay fever. Symptoms often include sneezing, wheezing, scratchy or sore throat, itchy and watery eyes, runny nose, fatigue, trouble sleeping and congestion, which are many times confused for a regular cold. Antihistamines and decongestants, which can sometimes cause side effects, are effective in treating some mild cases, but anyone experiencing pollen allergies should visit his or her physician for diagnosis and seek treatment from an allergy specialist.
Content supplied by Florida Center For Allergy & Asthma Care. To schedule an appointment, visit www.florida-allergy.com or call 877-4-ALLERGY.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times