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Pollen allergies: symptoms & diagnosis

pollen allergy symptoms
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Sneezing, itchy eyes, a runny nose – these are the typical pollen allergy symptoms. But there are more, so we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of symptoms here. That’ll help you come up with your own unofficial pollen allergy diagnosis, but what about an official one? Discover how to get a diagnosis, and what happens in a pollen allergy test.

Pollen allergy symptoms

When you have a pollen allergy, your immune system reacts when the fine powder produced by plants comes into contact with your eyes, nose, mouth or throat. There are some tell-tale signs that you’ve got a pollen allergy. Symptoms can include:

  • Runny or blocked nose.
  • Itchy nose, ears, throat or mouth.
  • Sneezing.
  • Coughing.
  • Itchy, watery, red eyes.
  • Feeling tired.
  • Earache or headache.
  • Loss of smell.

A soft tissue, like Cushelle Pocket Pack Tissues, will help you deal with your sneezes and runny nose when you’re out and about. They’re easy to keep with you, wherever you go.

Grass and tree pollen allergy symptoms

Whatever kind of pollen you’re allergic to, the symptoms are likely to be similar. For example, tree pollen allergy symptoms will resemble grass pollen allergy symptoms.

The difference is mainly to do with the timing. Tree pollen tends to start being released earlier in the year, followed by grass pollen, and then weed pollen.

Hay fever diagnosis

To receive an official pollen allergy diagnosis, you’ll need to have a test. The first step is to visit the doctor. Your GP will want to hear all about your symptoms, including when they occur, how often, and what seems to trigger them. It can be helpful to keep a diary. Note down the details of the what, when, where and how, whenever you have an allergic reaction.

If your GP considers it to be a mild allergy with an obvious cause, they might just offer advice and treatment. But if it’s a more severe allergy, or if it’s not clear what’s causing your allergic reaction, your GP may refer you to a specialist clinic for allergy testing.

What is a pollen allergy test?

Skin-prick testing is a common allergy test. A drop of liquid, containing the allergen, will be placed onto your forearm. The person carrying out the test will then gently prick your skin under the drop. A red, itchy bump will pop up within 15 minutes if you’re allergic to it.

Skin-prick testing can be a little uncomfortable, but most people don’t find it particularly painful. It’s worth knowing that you can’t take antihistamines before the test, as they can mess up the results.

Blood tests may also be used to diagnose an allergy. A sample of your blood will be analysed, to see if it contains the specific antibodies that your immune system produces in response to an allergen.

If you’re experiencing symptoms, then have a chat with your doctor. They can help you with a hay fever diagnosis, and arrange any necessary tests. With professional help, you’ll find it much easier to manage your pollen allergy.


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