Tiny pollen grains are released from trees, weeds, and grasses each spring, summer and fall. Pollen is necessary to fertilize parts of other plants; however, many never reach their destination. Pollen instead enters human noses and throats causing a type of seasonal allergic rhinitis called “pollen allergy,” otherwise known as “hay fever.”

Pollen is one of the most common things to cause allergy. Foods, medicines, or animals that cause allergies can be avoided. We can also escape insects and household dust. There is just no easy way to avoid airborne pollen unless you stay totally indoors, with the windows closed, when the pollen count is high, and even this may not help.

Where does pollen come from?

• Plants produces round or oval pollen grains to produce
• Some plant species uses the pollen from its own flowers to fertilize itself
• Other plant species must be cross-pollinated
• Cross-pollination means that for fertilization to take place and seeds to form, pollen needs to be transferred from the flower of one plant to that of another of the same species. Insects accomplish this for certain flowering plants. Other plants reply on the wind for transport.

What kind of pollen most commonly cause allergic reactions?

• Pollen produced by the plain-looking plants (trees, grasses, and weeds) that do not have showy flowers. These plants produce small, light, dry pollen grains that are wind transported.

• Ragweed pollen has been collected 400 miles out at sea and 2 miles high in the air. Airborne pollen drifts for many miles; therefore, it does little good to rid an area of an offending plant.

• Allergenic pollen comes from plants that produce in huge quantities. A single ragweed plant is able to produce a million grains of pollen per day.

• The type of allergens in the pollen determines whether or not the pollen will cause hay fever. Pine tree pollen produced in large amounts by a common tree would make it a good candidate for causing allergy. However, because the types of allergens in pine pollen appear to make it less allergenic, makes it a relatively rare cause of allergy.

• Ragweed is a major cause of allergic reactions. Sagebrush, redroot pigweed, lamb’s quarters, Russian thistle (tumbleweed) and English plantain are major causes of allergic reactions. Grasses and trees are sources of allergenic pollens. Only a few species of grass growing in North American produce highly allergenic pollen.

• Only florists, gardeners and others who have prolonged, close contact with flowers are likely to be sensitive to pollen from these plants. This type of pollen is not carried by wind. Insects like butterflies and bees transport it. For these reasons, most people have little contact with the large, heavy, waxy pollen grains of flowering plants.

Grasses that produce pollen include:

• Timothy grass
• Kentucky bluegrass
• Johnson grass
• Redtop grass
• Orchard grass
• Sweet vernal grass

Trees that produce pollen include:

• Oak
• Ash
• Elm
• Hickory
• Box elder
• Mountain cedar

What is the most obvious feature of pollen allergy?

• Its seasonal nature; people have symptoms only when the pollen grains to which they are allergic are in the air.

It is helpful to know when pollen counts tend to be the highest. This may be a time to stay indoors and avoid contact with the pollen to which you are allergic.

Pollen counts tend to be the highest:

• Early in the morning on warm, dry, breezy days

Pollen counts tend to be the lowest:

• During chilly, wet periods

Source: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information in this article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All health concerns should be addressed by a qualified health care professional

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Author: Connie Limon. Visit http://nutritionandhealthhub.com and sign up for a weekly nutrition and health tip. The article collection is available as FREE reprints for your newsletters, websites or blog. For a variety of FREE reprint articles on various topics rarely seen elsewhere visit http://www.camelotarticles.com