Pollen: Facts About This Most Common Allergen
What is pollen?
Trees, weeds, plants, and grasses release small reproductive cells called pollen, which cause allergic reactions for millions of people. Most pollen are light enough to be windblown and are found everywhere, both indoors and out.
Some Facts About Pollen
Weeds, grass, and trees all produce a great deal of pollen. The most prolific producer of pollen is called ragweed. Ragweed is estimated to cause 75% of all pollen allergies. Pollen allergies are also caused by a variety of weeds, some varieties of grasses like Timothy grass and Bermuda grass, and also some trees.
An estimated 35 million Americans suffer from pollen allergies - or about 1 in 7.
People also commonly refer to pollen allergies as "seasonal allergic rhinitis," "hay fever," or "pollinosis."
Common symptoms of pollen allergy include:
- Repeated or prolonged sneezing
- Stuffy and watery nose
- Swelling, itchy eyes
- Itchy nose, throat, and mouth
- Headaches and sore throat
- Difficulty sleeping at night due to trouble breathing
These symptoms can get more severe if experienced year after year, leading to chronic sinusitis, headaches and ear problems, or asthma.
What can be done to decrease exposure to pollen?
Pollen can be difficult to avoid, since during allergy season, it's everywhere. Even if it were practical to stay inside all the time, pollen can still find its way indoors. But, there are a few steps you can take to reduce your exposure to pollen and relieve your pollen allergy symptoms.
- Avoid outdoor activities in the morning, between 5 to 10 a.m. It's also good to avoid being outside on dry and breezy days. The best time to go outside is in late afternoon or after a heavy rain. Of course, it's best to go outside as little as possible.
- After being outdoors, shower and change your clothes, since pollen sticks to clothing, skin, and hair. It's also a good idea to wash your hair daily, since pollen collects in your hair and can be transferred to your pillow.
- Don't forget about your pet! Your pet also transports pollen into your home, so a frequent bath for your pet will help control pollen inside the house.
- Use HEPA air purifiers to remove microscopic pollen particles from the air in the home, especially in the bedroom. Windborne pollen particles are always coming inside, but a HEPA air purifier will ensure that your indoor air stays clean. You'll have a safe haven from pollen allergies, at least inside your home.
- Close windows and use air-conditioning during pollen season. When windows are open, use filter screens to allow fresh filtered air into your home and keep airborne particles out. Use vent filters to keep any pollen particles from recirculating inside your home.
- Wear a high-quality protective mask for outdoor activities. Using a HEPA mask while doing yard work can make your outside chores much easier.
- Vacuum frequently with a HEPA filtered vacuum cleaner that removes and permanently traps airborne allergens.
Pollen Allergy Buying Guide
At AchooAllergy.com, we know what it's like to suffer from allergies. We have a great selection of products to help you control pollen and alleviate your pollen allergy symptoms. We also offer FREE SHIPPING on orders over $150.00 in the continental United States. Please browse our helpful Pollen Allergy Buying Guide. You can easily order online or by phone, 24/7.
1. HEPA air purifiers
Blueair 503 Air Purifier
The Blueair 503 is an excellent air purifier for removing airborne particles like pollen, as well as other allergens like dust mites, pet dander, and mold, which can irritate lungs and make pollen allergies worse. Most effective for areas up to 450 square feet, the Blueair 503 is both quiet and attractive, making it ideal for a bedroom. Though not a true HEPA filter, it captures 99.97% of the tiniest 0.1 micron particles, and is recommended especially for allergy and asthma sufferers.
Austin Air Healthmate 400 Air Purifier
One of our top selling air purifiers, the Austin Air Healthmate 400 is ideal for a pollen allergy sufferer looking for a great value. True medical HEPA cloth removes a wide variety of airborne allergens, including pollen - 99.97% effective at removing particles down to 0.3 microns. The HM-400 is most effective for up to 700 square feet.
IQAir Healthpro Plus Air Purifier
The IQAir Healthpro Plus is for those who want the very best in air filtration. The completely sealed system and HyperHEPA filter exceeds HEPA standards. This air purifier offers excellent control of indoor allergens, like pet dander, dust mites, mold spores, and pollen as well as removal of smoke, odors and some chemical vapors. It's packed with all the bells and whistles, making it especially easy to operate and upkeep. In addition, each IQAir product is individually tested and certified, making IQAir one of the most respected manufacturers of air purifiers.
2. Filter screens
Allergy Zone Furnace Filters
The unique patented design the AllergyZone Furnace Filter traps over 90% of allergens, removing them from the air circulating through your home. Disposable and highly efficient, they will help reduce dust, pollen, and other allergens, keeping your home cleaner and reducing your allergy symptoms.
SafeGuard Window Filters
These window filters offer much more protection than a screen. You can enjoy fresh air all year long, without all the pollen. The filter eliminates 92% of ragweed pollens. Coated screen also keeps out rain, snow, and wind.
3. HEPA masks
3M HEPA Mask
Don't be afraid to venture outside during the peak of allergy season. This true HEPA mask will help you do chores inside or out, while still breathing clean and pollen-free air. The 3M HEPA mask blocks out dust, mold, and pollen, and is economical and efficient.
3M 8210 Dust and Pollen Mask
While not a true HEPA filter, this disposable mask offers some protection against pollens and airborne allergens. Convenient and highly affordable, the comfortable 3M Dust and Pollen Mask is an effective and inexpensive solution for outdoor pollen protection.
4. HEPA filtered vacuum cleaner
Miele UniQ S8990 Vacuum Cleaner
The folks at Miele pulled out all the stops and brought out all the bells and whistles when they made the Miele UniQ. For the allergy sufferer who wants the absolute best vacuum with every luxury feature imaginable, the Miele UniQ captures 99.95% of all household allergens.