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Doctor insights on: Pollen

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Pollen (Overview)

Pollen is the equivalent of sperm for a plant. It is a genetically active product, seen on flowers usually, which the plants with the assistance of birds, bats and insects as well as the wind, uses to fertilize the egg of the plant to ensure a next generation. It also can be irritating, functioning as an allergen, leading to sneezing and upper respiratory problems.


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What is a pollen count?

What is a pollen count?

Mathematical Achoo!: Great question. Pollen count measures how much pollen and what type of pollen in a cubic unit of air. When low, extremely sensitive people feel it. Moderate: many sensitive people may feel it. High: most sensitive people feel it. Very high: almost all sensitive people feel it. Hope this helps.

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Pollen (Overview)

Pollen is the equivalent of sperm for a plant. It is a genetically active product, seen on flowers usually, which the plants with the assistance of birds, bats and insects as well as the wind, uses to fertilize the egg of the plant to ensure a next generation. It also can be irritating, functioning as an allergen, leading to sneezing and upper respiratory problems.


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How are pollen counts done?

How are pollen counts done?

Collect, microscope.: Pollen counting involves collecting the pollens and molds on specialized rods, or in special traps. These counters measure a set volume of air over a period of time. The rods are stained and examined under a microscope. Pollens have different characteristics that allow experts to label them as grasses, trees or weeds. Mold spores tend to stain differently and can also be identified.

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What is the definition or description of: pollen?

What is the definition or description of: pollen?

Plant reproduction: Pollen is the equivalent of sperm for a plant. It is a genetically active product, seen on flowers usually, which the plants with the assistance of birds, bats and insects as well as the wind, uses to fertilize the egg of the plant to ensure a next generation. It also can be irritating, functioning as an allergen, leading to sneezing and upper respiratory problems.

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Can there be a link between outside pollen and foods we eat?

Can there be a link between outside pollen and foods we eat?

Pollen and food: There is no link between pollens and the food we eat. However, you may have food allergies which could cause symptoms by themselves.

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Is it ok to bring cut flowers in the house if pollen might be a problem?

Is it ok to bring cut flowers in the house if pollen might be a problem?

Probably not: Fresh cut flowers have pollen and might stimulate allergic reactions in susceptible people. If you know you have family or close friends or family with pollen allergies why risk making them miserable!

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How long does it take for pollen levels to drop off in the air outdoors?

How long does it take for pollen levels to drop off in the air outdoors?

When is goes away!: If its seasonal and outdoors, nothing to do until the pollen goes, which may be spring, summer, or fall. Rain cleans the are for several days, but levels soon rise.

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What to do about pollen alergy?

What to do about pollen alergy?

Workup: You can try OTC antihistamines and wash out nasal passages with nasal saline (effective); however, if symtoms are severe, you will need a comprehensive medical alleric workup and formal allergy skin testing.

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If my child is allergic to weeds and pollen?

If my child is allergic to weeds and pollen?

See below: Skin prick test is simple, safe and gives results in minutes. It enables one to find out whether you have antibodies that react to a certain allergen (weeds/pollen). Blood tests are also used to measure levels of pollen or weed specific antibodies your body produces. Problem: positive test do not necessarily mean you have pollen/weed allergies.

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What should you avoid if allergic to pollen?

Pollen: Easy answer of course. Pollen season can be problematic so try and stay inside if severely allergic to pollen, especially during the peak pollen season. Best wishes.

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What causes someone to be allergic to different pollens?

What causes someone to be allergic to different pollens?

Many factors: The most important factors that lead to allergy are genetics (inheritance from parents) and exposure. Therefore, you are more likely to develop allergy to pollen if you parent (s) have similar allergies, and if you live in an area (southeast) with lots of pollen.

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When's pollen season is pollen worse at night noon or morning day?

When's pollen season is pollen worse at night noon or morning day?

In AM: Pollen count will be high in early morng and late evening, low at noon. Dry windy weather. If you it is bothering that much, before going out, take your medication, wear pollen filter mask (glasses for eye protection) make sure to see your allergy doctor before the season.

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Is there a way to know if I have a cold or a reaction to pollen in the air?

Symptoms: Colds are associated with a low grade fever, clear nasal discharge and an achy feeling which can last 5-7 days constantly. Allergy symptoms are unrelated to a fever, may have clear nasal discharge, sneezing, runny eyes and are intermittent & sporadic.

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My dad can't stop coughing from all the pollen. Is there a good medication that would help?

My dad can't stop coughing from all the pollen. Is there a good medication that would help?

Depends: Coughing related to pollen may be from post nasal drip in which case, the cough should improve with an antihistamine and/or topical nasal steroid spray. Also, cough from pollen can be asthma in which case an inhaler for treating airway inflammation and bronchoconstriction would be appropriate. An allergist can assist to determine which approach is best.

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Can I take fexofenadine 180. More than one a day? If I required? Does it helps me to protect from pollen?

Can I take fexofenadine 180. More than one a day? If I required? Does it helps me to protect from pollen?

Yes: We have used up to 4x/day dose for chronic hives and thus it is safe even at that dose frequency. Don't expect to get relief in the nasal congestion however because you will to have a decongestant pill to achieve that. In general a nasal steroid will be more effective. If medications fail, then you will need to consult an allergist.

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I'm allergic to ragweeds and pollen so pretty much the outdoors. What can I take to alleviate the symptoms?

Allergy treatments: Try avoid exposure to ragweed and pollen first, then using hepa filter system and vacuum your carpet more often. Then OTC antihistamines, decongestants, or Neti pot Normal Saline nasal rinse. See an allergy doctor for advice and more potent treatments if neccesary.

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What to do if I have never broken out, so I was just wondering would I be allergic to it because of the pollen and ragweeds?

What to do if I have never broken out, so I was just wondering would I be allergic to it because of the pollen and ragweeds?

No problem: If you are not genetically predisposed to become allergic, it is unlikely that you will have problem regardless of the pollen count.

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I am allergic to White Lilies. My first contact was White Lily extract, not pollen. Does this mean that I should avoid all forms/colors of Lily?

Yes: The best treatment for allergy is avoidance. I presume that your reaction is an itchy skin rash from the contact. The color of the flower does not impact the allergen in the plant.

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My nose is really stuffed from tree pollen. Any tricks?

My nose is really stuffed from tree pollen. Any tricks?

Allergic rhinitis: There are several remedies. Nasal steroids are probabaly the best and most effective. Some may also get from otc antihistaminincs (zyrtec, Claritin or allegra).

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