If you are one of many who suffer from allergies during this time of year in Houston, you have made best friends with tissues, eye drops, anti-histamines, steroids or other remedies. Allergies can be a nuisance and can make you miserable. When it comes to allergies, what exactly are they and what is a pollen count? Let’s explore the definitions of these terms and provide insight and relief during this difficult time of year for noses, eyes, ears and throats.
When defining an allergy, it is a heightened sensitivity to a foreign substance, referred to as an an allergen, that causes the body’s defense or immune system to overreact while defending itself. Allergens can stimulate an immune response when you breathe in or touch the allergen. Common allergic reactions include eczema, hay fever, hives, asthma, food allergies and pet dander allergies, just to name a few. Weather plays an important part for many allergy and hay fever sufferers. So knowing the conditions outside helps allergy sufferers better prepare inside.
Allergic reactions can bring a variety of symptoms to allergy sufferers such as sneezing, coughing, itchy watery eyes, runny nose, itchy throat, stomach ache, fatigue, irritability, hives and itchy skin. Often, doctors will use skin tests to see how certain allergens affect patients. Doctors will also ask questions to build a profile for allergy sufferers so that the best course of action can be implemented and provide immediate relief.
A pollen count is a measurement of how much pollen is in the air. This count represents the concentration of all the pollen in the air in a certain area at a specific time.The count is expressed in grains of pollen per cubic meter over a 24 hour period. To get a pollen count, a pollen sample is taken using an air-sampling device. Samplers then take pollen from the air and place it onto a transparent, sticky surface. Then the pollen is examined. If you are an allergy sufferer, then a pollen count is good information for you to know. For example, you can learn much more about which allergens are affecting you and to what degree.
The best defense is to speak with your doctor or medical professional about the best course of action for you. It may include shots, medications or a combination of both for therapy or relief. In the city of Houston, you can go to the Weather Channel’s website and obtain information about daily pollen counts for the city. You can also visit pollen.com to obtain the most update information about pollen, allergies and allergy relief!