Now that it is officially spring pollen has begun to take over outside, leaving streaks of yellow everywhere around us. There are two different forms of pollination (how pollen is spread), and the difference between the two impact people’s allergies, specifically which causes allergy symptoms, and which does not usually impact people.

Pollination

Pollen can be transferred by wind or by insects (i.e. bees). Plants with colorful flowers, like roses or daisies, have their pollen transferred by insects. This form of pollen is usually large and sticky and is not ordinarily cause allergies. This is because people generally do not come in contact with this pollen. This pollen is not in the air because it is pollinated by insects. It can still sometimes cause allergic reactions if someone is handling or smelling flowers, but it is not responsible for springtime allergies or hay fever. Allergic reactions from flower pollen are easy to prevent by simply by avoiding contact with flowers.

Plants can also be pollinated by the wind. Wind-pollinated plants, like trees, have large amounts of light-weight pollen. The pollen is lightweight so that it can be easily dispersed by the wind. This form of pollination is what normally triggers allergy symptoms because the pollen is in the air and cannot be avoided if outside. This is why rain helps alleviate allergy symptoms, the rain prevents the pollen from moving around in the air.

There are steps someone can take to avoid experiencing pollen allergy symptoms. Some examples include limiting the amount of time people spend outside and avoiding mowing the grass. An allergist here at National Allergy and ENT will discuss steps and action plans to take to avoid allergens and allergy symptoms. Call (843) 797-8162 to schedule an appointment with an allergist.

For more information on the difference between tree pollen and flower pollen, check out the video below or visit our YouTube channel!