Be greater than your allergies
POLLEN: MIRACLE OF PLANT LIFE, MENACE OF SEASONAL ALLERGIES
WHAT IS POLLEN?
For many allergy sufferers, the word “pollen” bodes discomfort and misery. But what is pollen and which types do you need to look out for? Here’s a closer look at pollen, pollination, and what it means for allergy sufferers.
Flowering plants produce pollen—fine, powdery, yellowish grains—for the purpose of reproduction.1 Grains of pollen are carried from plant to plant by the wind or by insects (such as butterflies and bees) to fertilize other plants.
Plants with “showy” flowers, such as roses and tulips, make a heavy, waxy type of pollen that’s carried by insects. But that’s not the pollen you need to worry about. It’s plants without showy flowers, like trees, weeds, and grasses, that are responsible for most allergy-causing pollen.
Allergy-causing plants (trees, weeds, and grasses) make a light, dry type of pollen that’s carried by the wind. The individual pollen grains are too small to be seen by the naked eye and can travel many miles in the air and straight to your nose, triggering your allergy symptoms.
THE POLLINATION PROCESS
Pollination starts and stops according to the length of the days and nights in a particular area, which depends on geographic location. How much pollen a plant produces is determined by the seasons and the weather, which varies year-to-year.2
To determine how much pollen is in the air in a certain place at a specific time, you can consult a pollen count. As a rule of thumb, pollen counts are highest early in the morning, especially on hot, dry, breezy days and lowest in the late afternoon and after it rains.2
Of course, the type and severity of allergy-causing pollen will vary depending on where you live and what the weather’s been like. To prepare for allergy symptoms, you can use tools like The Weather Channel Allergy Tracker, brought to you in partnership with FLONASE® Allergy Relief. Our 3-day Allergy Tracker gives you a detailed, local allergy forecast so you can keep an eye on outdoor allergens in your area.
1. The American Heritage® New Dictionary. (2005). Define Pollen. Retrieved April 07, 2017, from http://www.dictionary.com/browse/pollen
2. National Institute of Health. (2016, July 14). Pollen. Retrieved April 07, 2017, from https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/allergens/pollen/