Posted on Mar 9, 2015 3:38pm PDT

Pollen counts were high this past weekend in Atlanta, and allergy sufferers may have a lot to grumble about in the upcoming months. While March is still trailing on the last legs of winter, the early signs of the spring season are beginning to pop up, and that can only mean allergy season is just around the corner. Find out what you can do to protect yourself if you suffer from a pollen allergy.

How do I know if I am allergic to pollen?

Pollen is one of the common allergens. It is a powdery grain that comes from flowers, trees, grasses, and weeds. Wind blows pollen powder off of the plants, the particles float every which way, and are present in the very air that we breathe. Pollen counts are particularly high in the spring and summer months, when the flowers begin blooming. Allergic reactions that arise from inhaling certain substances or particles is typically called allergic rhinitis or hay fever; pollen is a common cause of hay fever.

These are some of the symptoms of hay fever:

  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Itchy nose, throat, or eyes
  • Nasal congestion or discharge
  • Inflammation or swelling of nasal passages

The body reacts this strongly in an effort to fight off the allergy and the immune system is put into overdrive. If you have not yet been tested for pollen allergy and you are experiencing these symptoms, it is best you schedule an appointment with one of our Georgia allergists as soon as possible to find relief. While many types of allergies can be bothersome, the most serious cases can have life-threatening consequences, making it all the more crucial that you seek assistance from allergy experts right away.

How can I avoid pollen if I am allergic?

If you do, in fact, have a pollen allergy, be aware that avoiding pollen is almost unavoidable, especially if where you live has a particularly high pollen count on that day. That was the case this last weekend in Atlanta, where pollen counts measured in the medium-high range, in comparison to the rest of the country. You can use pollen count sites and other resources to help you track when pollen counts will be high. While effective, this may not be ideal; some may feel as though they have to be on house arrest just to avoid pollen!

Fortunately, there are other methods that can help, and these are offered at the Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia, include prescribing allergy medication or providing you with allergy shots (immunotherapy). These methods can introduce antibodies directly into your body little by little so that you can begin building a resistance to your allergies.

You can find out more about your options for keeping safe during the allergy season by visiting one of our seven locations at Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia. Same-day appointments are available!