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    Allergies, asthma, and pollen

    Allergic rhinitis - pollen

    Things that make allergies or asthma worse are called triggers. It is important to know your triggers because avoiding them is your first step toward feeling better.

    Pollen is a trigger for many people who have allergies and asthma. The types of pollens that are triggers vary from person to person and from region to region. Some plants that trigger hay fever and asthma are:

    • Some trees
    • Some grasses
    • Ragweed

    Watch the Weather and the Season

    The amount of pollen in the air can affect whether you, or your child, have hay fever and asthma symptoms.

    • On hot, dry, windy days more pollen is in the air.
    • On cool, rainy days most pollen is washed to the ground.

    During pollen season, people with hay fever do better if they stay indoors in air-conditioned buildings, if possible.

    • Most trees produce pollen in the spring.
    • Grasses usually produce pollen during the late spring and summer.
    • Ragweed and other late-blooming plants produce pollen during late summer and early fall.

    When Pollen Levels are High

    When pollen levels are high:

    • Stay indoors and keep doors and windows closed. Use an air conditioner if you have one.
    • Save outside activities for late afternoon or after a heavy rain. Avoid the outdoors between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m.
    • Do not dry clothes outdoors. Pollen will stick to them.
    • Have someone who does not have asthma cut the grass, or wear a face mask if you must do it.

    Keep grass cut short, or replace your grass with a ground cover. Choose a ground cover that does not produce much pollen, such as Irish moss, bunch grass, or dichondra.

    If you buy trees for your yard, look for types that will not make your allergies worse. Some of these are:

    • Crape myrtle, dogwood, fig, fir, palm, pear, plum, redbud, and redwood trees
    • Female cultivars of ash, box elder, cottonwood, maple, palm, poplar or willow trees


    Wallace DV, Dykewicz MS, Bernstein DI, Blessing-Moore J, Cox L, Khan DA, et al. The diagnosis and management of rhinitis: an updated practice parameter. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2008 Aug:122(2).


          A Closer Look

          Talking to your MD

          Self Care

          Tests for Allergies, asthma, and pollen

            Review Date: 5/16/2012

            Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.

            The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

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            St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
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