John Weisnagel, MD
Pollen is produced by all flowering plants. Pollen coming from trees,
grasses and weeds (especially ragweed) can cause allergic symptoms in the
sensitive individual. These symptoms are usually referred to as 'hay
fever': sneezing, itchy and runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, swollen
eyes, cough and at times asthma symptoms (shortness of breath and
wheezing.) Symptoms occur in April and May when caused by tree pollen,
June and July by grass pollen, and August and September when due to
ragweed pollen. The pollen is very light and wind-borne, at times great
distances from its origin:
drafts should be avoided, especially
when driving or riding, and not only in the country.
walks through fields or woods are to be
avoided to diminish unnecessary exposure to large quantities of
pollen. Mowing the lawn, being there when mowing is done, and hay
should be avoided.
alcoholic beverages are to be avoided
as well as certain foods such as berries, peaches, grapes, watermelon,
cucumbers and bananas. These could bring on symptoms. Because of
allergenic similarities some foods, particularly fruit (peaches,
apples, etc.) and nuts can also cause itchiness of lips and throat in
pollen sensitive individuals.
keep away from flower gardens and do
not keep flowers in the house during pollen seasons.
keep nose and eyes above water when
swimming in pools to avoid chlorine irritation.
take antihistamines or other
medications prescribed if symptoms occur whether on injections (immunotherapy
or hyposensitization) or not.