Asthma and Pollen

Plants make tiny grains called pollen in order to reproduce. Pollen comes from trees, grasses and weeds. These pollens are light and easily carried by the wind. Pollen from flowers does not usually cause allergy problems. These pollen grains are too large to be wind blown.

Asthma and Pollen

Pollens are released at different times of the year:

Trees –
      In Spring
Grasses –
      In Summer
Weeds –
      In Fall
  • Pollen counts tend to be higher in the morning and on warm, dry, windy days.
  • Pollen counts tend to be lower during cold, wet periods.
  • Pollen counts in your area are posted at the Weather Network or online

Pollen is an outdoor allergen. An allergen is something you are allergic to. Pollen can trigger sneezing, runny nose, coughing, itchy eyes, nose or throat, and watery eyes. Ragweed pollen is a common asthma trigger. People with a pollen allergy may think that they have a spring or summer cold, but the symptoms last longer than 2 weeks. Pollen can stick to clothes, shoes and to your pet’s fur. Symptoms that seem to occur at the same time each year may be caused by a pollen allergy. Talk to your doctor.

Avoidance Measures

  • The more you avoid what you are allergic to, the fewer symptoms you will have.
  • Keep the windows of your home and car closed when pollen counts are high.
  • Air conditioning may be helpful to keep pollen from coming indoors.
  • Stay indoors in the morning when pollen levels are higher.
  • If working outdoors, wearing a face mask to filter out pollen may be helpful.
  • Avoid cutting the grass or doing yard work if it causes symptoms.
  • Do not dry clothes outdoors.

Treating a Pollen Allergy

  • During the pollen season, nasal symptoms can often be controlled with antihistamines and nasal steroid spray.
  • If you have asthma, more Controller medicine may be needed when the pollen count is high.
  • Sometimes allergy shots are used for people with seasonal allergies to grass, tree or weed pollen.
  • Speak to your doctor to learn more about pollen allergy.