DO YOU KNOW WHAT POLLEN IS?
By Carolyn Gorman
YOU PROBABLY HAVEN'T ACTUALLY SEEN THEM (THEY'RE MICROSCOPIC) BUT YOU MAY HAVE FELT THE EFFECT OF POLLEN GRAIN, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE ALLERGIC TO THEM.
What is Pollen?
Pollen is the male reproductive cells or microspores of flowering plants which are produced by and discharged from the plant. Many airborne pollens are proteins capable of sensitizing persons and producing allergic-type symptoms.
Pollen can be large or small (20-50 microns), heavy or light, and is carried by the wind to other plants. Pollen allergies depend on the chemical composition, the buoyancy and abundance of pollen.
One-quarter of a million plants use the wind as a vehicle for cross-pollination; and produce pollen dust clouds of generally small, dry, smooth, uniform, light and buoyant grains. They can be carried on the wind for miles to their destination.
Why is pollen important?
Pollen is the miracle of life for plants and a hoped-for miracle for man. It is used in archeology to reveal vegetation, climate and customs of ancient man; in oil exploration to pinpoint drilling accuracy; and pollen grains representative of plants in a certain area have aided in crime solving. Pollen is important in the genetic engineering of plants and was used by American Indians and other cultures in special ceremonies. Pollen supplements are sold to improve a runner's competitive edge and an immune system's vitality. Additional pollen is harvested for use in immuno-therapeutic allergy extracts to treat allergies. Even though pollen is a blessing to many, it can also be a curse to those who respond to it with....A WHEEZE OR A SNEEZE. Forty million Americans suffer from some form of allergy that usually includes pollens.
HOW CAN YOU PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST POLLEN ALLERGIES?
Know Pollen Count
Follow the local pollen index (the number of grains per cubic meter of air) in order to be alert to days when your particular allergens are most prominent.
Plan Outdoor Activities Carefully
In order to minimize exposure, plan outdoor activities to coincide with times when the pollen count is lowest.
Plan Your Landscaping
Minimize exposure to known allergens by eliminating them from your yard.
Create A Healthy Indoor Environment
Create a healthy inside environment by using:
HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Arresting) or Electrostatic filtration
Portable air purifiers
Know & Avoid Concommitant Foods
Certain foods are concommitant or interactive with pollen sensitivities. For example: during ragweed and elm pollinating seasons, milk consumption may produce allergic symptoms; likewise, an allergy to cedar can enhance an allergic reaction to beef and brewer's or baker's yeast; while sage may enhance a reaction to potatoes, pigweed sensitivity may produce a reaction to pork, and oak allergies may make eating apples unpleasant.
Wear a Mask
A filtration mask made with cotton or silk material can reduce pollen exposure whenever it becomes necessary to go outside on a high pollen count day. If tolerated, a 3-M high efficiency mask will remove 99.97% of the particulate matter down to .3 microns.
Allergy Treatment Options:
Allergy skin testing (scratch or intradermal) or blood (RAST) testing can aid in the diagnosis of pollen allergies.
Several medications are now available to the allergic patient. These include:
Seldane ~ Hismanal
Nasalcrom ~ Sodium Chromolyn
Sudafed ~ Vitamins
Immuno-therapy provides the most effective, long-term relief for the allergic patient.
WE CAN WIN & DEFEAT THIS OPPONENT WITH ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROLS & ALLERGY TREATMENT
CEDAR, RAGWEED, MAPLE, BERMUDA GRASS, GOLDENROD