Have your allergies started to pick up as of recently mostly when you step outside? This could be the result of higher pollen levels in the air in your area, as pollen season rages on in many areas of the United States. Pollen is an allergen substance that is highly produced depending on the season, particularly in the spring and summer months. As pollen begins to be produced into the environment it can be a domino effect of symptoms and health problems for hundreds of thousands of people who suffer from environmental allergies. When it comes to shielding your home from this allergenic substance, however, it may be a more difficult task than you thought.

Many people may think that their homes are safe from pollen intrusions in their home, due to the fact that this allergen originates outside. However, pollen can travel easily into the indoor environment of your home and act as an allergy trigger for those occupants that suffer from allergies. Pollen can travel into a home through clothing, open windows, and a variety of other means to contaminate the indoor environment and leave allergens within this space. What can be done to combat allergens in your home such as pollen and what exactly is pollen/how does it affect an individual’s health?

In this article we are going to learn more about why people are allergic to pollen, what pollen allergies do to a person’s health, and the best way on how to get rid of pollen in your house.

What is Pollen Allergy?

Did you know that allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the United States? According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI), more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year. An allergy or allergic reaction will occur when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance – such as pollen, bee venom, or pet dander – causes a reaction in a person’s body. The immune system within your body will work as a protecting shield to guard a person from hazardous foreign substances that enter into the body – and this is done by the production of antibodies. When an allergic substance enters into the human body it will trigger the immune system to identify this substance as a foreign invader, and therefore the immune system will start to produce and emit antibodies that are the key proponent to allergy symptoms that many people will suffer from when they are exposed to specific allergens in the environment.

Pollen is one of the most common causes of allergies in the Country, with hundreds of thousands of people suffering from an allergy to this substance. This specific environmental allergen is a very fine powder that is created by outdoor sources such as trees, flowers, grasses, and weeds to fertilize other plants of the same species. Pollen allergies is usually a seasonal allergy that allergy sufferers have to deal with, since pollen season starts in spring and runs through the summer in most areas. There are a wide range of different types of plant species that can produce specific pollen into the air such as birch pollen, oak pollen, grass pollen, and ragweed pollen allergy.

Where Does Pollen Come from

When it comes to the spring season, many of us are excitingly looking forward to this month to take us out of the cold winter months. However, with the entrance of spring comes the dreaded production of pollen in the outdoor air. Flowers start to spring up out of the soil during this season and as they begin this growth it will create pollen as a means to reproduce. Generally, however, when we think of pollen, we only think about its dusty green appearance that will show on your car windshield, furniture outside, and even sidewalks – but pollen is much more than just an irritating disturbance on your items. Pollen is actually small spores that come from male trees and flowers, and they act as sperm cells to help in the reproduction process within plants.

The pollen produced from plants is essential to reproduction, because without pollen plants can’t reproduce seeds or fruit – halting the generation of plants. Pollen is usually in high volumes during the spring and summer months as the plants start to bloom, which is why allergy season is focused around this time. When pollen floats throughout the outdoor air, people will become exposed to this allergen and ultimately it can end up being a problem in your home as the pollen travels into your personal indoor air space.

Allergic Reaction to Pollen

Have you ever heard the term hay fever? Hay fever is the term used to describe an allergy to pollen that a person may be plagued with during allergy season. Pollen will easily be dispersed into the air of the environment, which will allow it to spread rapidly and eventually into indoor environments like your home. This allergenic substance is such a fine material that it can easily be swept through the air and carried great distances through the air. This conversely will mean that the pollen can easily become inhaled into the body as a person comes into contact with this allergen – as it can be inhaled through the nose, mouth, and nasal passages.

According to Pollen.com, those individuals who have a pollen allergy – like any type of allergy – will be affected by this substance differently as exposure occur. The effects to a person’s health could depend on the specific allergen present, the levels of this allergen in the environment that you are exposed to, and when it comes to pollen the specific type of pollen such as oak, ragweed, birch, or grass pollen. Typically, however, an allergy to pollen will include an impact on a person’s sinus and respiratory tract, which will than elicit symptoms in the human body.

Signs of Pollen Allergies

When it comes to identifying a pollen allergy it may be more difficult than you may have thought. Allergies, in particular, will provoke symptoms in the human body that will closely mimic that of a cold which will lead most people to believe that their symptoms come from a bug they caught. However, often times this will not be the case and allergies will be behind your unwanted respiratory symptoms. Pinpointing allergies will start with identifying where and when your symptoms take place, whether it starts in a certain environment or when you go outside (specifically when dealing with a pollen allergy).

Additionally, another sign of a pollen allergy can be an immediate flare up as you walk outside, especially during spring and summer months only, when pollen is at its most heightened level in the environment. Lastly, to determine if you have a pollen allergy you go to the allergist and have an allergy test conducted to see exactly what allergens you have an allergic reaction to after exposure. These tests are the most accurate means to concluding if you really suffer from allergies and pinpointing what allergens to stay away from in the environment.

What are the Symptoms of Pollen Allergy

As we discussed previously, allergies can have an influx of different reactions in a human’s body, depending on the person, what they are allergic to, and the amount of exposure they have had to this specific allergen. When your body comes across an allergen, such as pollen, that triggers the immune system to produce antibodies it will lead to those dreaded allergy symptoms to commence. During allergy season, particularly pollen season, when the pollen substance enters into the air and begins its spreading through the air it will lead to exposure and symptoms that will shortly follow.

When a person suffers from a pollen allergy, they will start to experience allergy symptoms that will range in severity, depending on numerous factors. However, the symptoms will be nearly the same in each person, and they symptoms will include the following, according to Healthline;

  • Sneezing
  • Stuffy nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sinus pressure, which may cause facial pain
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy eyes
  • Scratchy throat
  • Cough
  • Swollen, bluish colored skin beneath the eyes
  • Decreased sense of taste or smell
  • Increased asthmatic reactions

Can Pollen Get in Your House?

Although pollen is identified as an outdoor allergen, this does not mean that it cannot infiltrate the indoor space of your home or other indoors spaces. Pollen can easily enter into your home from a range of different sources, which will lead to an outburst of allergies in those individuals exposed in this indoor environment that suffer from allergies. The various means that pollen enters into a home is through open windows, pets, clothes and hair, and even poor insulation in the home.

  • Open Windows: Many people will have their windows and doors open in their home to get fresh air into the space. However, opening windows is one of the quickest ways to allow for pollen to enter into the indoor air of this indoor space. Pollen count tends to be high in the morning, so be sure to avoid opening windows during this timeframe.
  • Pets: Its unavoidable to have your pets be outside, whether they are playing in the yard or going outside to go to the bathroom. When pets go outside, they are exposed to pollen, which can latch onto your pet’s fur coat and they can bring the pollen into your home.
  • Clothes and Hair: Pets aren’t the only ones that go outside, as humans are constantly in and out of their home. When you go outside your clothing and hair can also collect pollen and eventually it will become free within your home to spread and contaminate the indoor space.
  • Poor Insulation: The construction of your home may have gaps in the insulation that will likely be around the attics and near weather-stripping in the home. These gaps will allow for the entrance of pollen into the indoor space, which will lead to exposure to those occupants in this indoor home environment.

How Do I Get Rid of Pollen in My House

An air purifier is an air quality device that is designed to filter and clean the indoor air of a space using a specific type of filtration technology (depending on the type of air purifier you purchase). Recently, air purifiers have become a game changing air quality solution that has been popular for the removal and mitigation of many airborne pollutants such as noxious and toxic chemicals and odors, allergens, and even microorganisms (mold spores, bacteria, and viruses) found in the air of indoor spaces. Each air purifier and air purifier technology that is found and used in specific air purifier brands will work to attack and remove certain pollutants from the air, whether that be one that focuses on odor removal or an air purifier that is geared specifically for allergen removal in the air, thus it is important to educate yourself on the different capabilities of the air purifier against pollen prior to purchasing.

The EnviroKlenz Air Purifier is a revolutionary air purification device that utilizes a proprietary earth mineral technology that was designed specifically to target noxious and toxic chemicals and odors; capturing, containing, and neutralizing these airborne pollutants completely from the environment without the use of chemicals or masking agents. Along with this first stage filtration capability, EnviroKlenz also contains a second-stage filtration of a hospital-grade HEPA filter for fine particulate matter removal larger than 0.3 microns in size – which will include allergens such as pollen from the air. Therefore, this specific type of air purification device can be used for a variety of indoor air quality problems including those who are suffering from seasonal allergies that need indoor relief from these airborne allergens.

Article Sources: 

  1. American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology (ACAAI): Allergy Facts (link)
  2. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA): Pollen Allergy (link)
  3. com: Pollen Allergy (link)
  4. Healthline: What is a Pollen Allergy? (link)

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