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Ten Facts, Not Fiction, About Hayfever

Aug 17, 2007
Is it fact or fiction that only ragweed causes hayfever? Ragweed occurs naturally in several species that grow across the United States. Ragweed pollen can be detected in the air from the middle of July, peaking in early September, and continue high until the first hard frost when the ground freezes. Ragweed is far from being the only culprit that triggers hay fever.

Fact: Pollens from various grasses and trees also play a part in this. Pollen is the plant equivalent of sperm in the animal kingdom. Since pollen is carried by the wind, some of it lands where it can fertilize other plants.

Fact: Weeds generally pollinate in the late summer and fall, trees in the late winter and spring and grasses in the late spring, going into summer.

Fact: Seventy-five percent of the people who suffer from hayfever are allergic to ragweed. Not only is ragweed an irritant, but the pollens from birch, alder, hazel, hornbeam and horse chestnut trees, cause distress. Grasses, such as rye and timothy also release allergenic pollens into the air, along with nettles, members of the sorrel family and the dock family. While this may not be true for everyone, people who are allergic to ragweed pollen may also be allergic to chamomile tea, sunflower seeds, and bananas.

Fact: Mold spores also contribute to the discomfort people experience with hayfever. Allergic reactions to windblown spore are most common from midsummer to early fall. Though basements and other damp rooms in the house can also harbor mold, and be decidedly uncomfortable for anyone who is sensitive to it. Investing in an air filtration system benefits everyone in your home, not just the person who experiences hayfever symptoms.

Fact: Pollen levels tend to be at their highest in the morning, and at their lowest immediately after a rainstorm, as the rain tends to wash the pollens into the ground. If it is possible to wait till late in the morning to leave the house, it is often better to do so. Those times after a good rainstorm, when the air has been washed clean, may be good times to take your walks. Many people have found that wearing Millipore face masks to be helpful when they go outside. Keeping windows in your home and car closed and relying on air conditioners and air filtration systems to keep the air fresh is generally a must, if you are allergic to those pollens.

Fact: Clothes can pick up pollens from the air when they are hung outside on a line to dry. This may cause needless irritation to the person who suffers from these allergies.

Fact: Washing your hands and face frequently may seem pointless when you are trying to protect yourself from air-born pollens and pollutants, but it does help. When you wash your hands regularly, you are less likely to rub pollens into your eyes, which are also sensitive to allergens. Washing your face helps to get rid of any build-up around your eyes and nose.

Fact: Some people have found that applying a thin coat of Vaseline around their eyes and nostrils helps prevent pollens from entering there as easily. And some people have found that wearing wrap-around sunglasses when they are outside also helps to protect their eyes.

Fact: There are nasal sprays and antihistamines to help relieve the symptoms. Over the counter medications are not as strong as the prescription meds, and they are more likely to cause drowsiness than the prescription medications.

Fact: Skin sensitivity or scratch testing is the most accurate way to test for allergic reactions. There is no cure for the common allergies, but allergy shots that help accustom the body's immune system to the pollens are often helpful.
About the Author
Dave Pipitone is a professional communicator, health and spiritual entrepreneur, dedicated husband and father. For timely information and resources for dealing with allergies, visit http://www.overcomeallergies.com.
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