Get Your Allergy Forecast
Advertisement

More than 67 Million Americans Suffer from Allergy Symptoms, including Hay Fever.
But, what is allergy?

Last Updated: 6/24/2014
horizontal line
Advertisement
Find Out More About:
Hay Fever (Allergic Rhinitis) or other respiratory allergies.
Asthma which can be triggered by allergies or weather (check your Weather Forecast!).
Your Reaction to Allergens - the symptoms we call allergies.
Treatment Options for Hay Fever.
Other Helpful Information:
The following links take you to Web sites outside of Pollen.com which also contain useful allergy information. These sites will open in a new window.
Visit PollenLibrary.com to find out what kind of pollen is causing asthma and allergy in your area now.

An allergy is a heightened sensitivity to a foreign substance (called an allergen) that causes the body's defense system (the immune system) to overreact when defending itself.

Normally, the immune system would only react if a harmful substance, such as bacteria, attacks the body. For people with allergies, their immune systems are working too hard and react even when relatively harmless substances, such as pollen, are present. The severity of an allergic reaction can vary from mild discomfort to life threatening situations.

Allergens can stimulate an immune response when you breathe in or touch the allergen, or by ingestion of food or beverage, or from injections of medication.

Common allergies include eczema, hives, hay fever, and asthma. You can get an allergic reactions from food, pet dander, airborne pollen, and the venom of stinging insects, such as wasps and bees. Treatments for allergies include avoidance, use of anti-histamines, steroids or other medications, and immunotherapy to desensitize the allergic response.

General Allergy Symptoms

When you have an allergic reaction there may be a combination of the following allergy symptoms:
  • sneezing
  • wheezing
  • nasal congestion
  • coughing
  • itchy, watery eyes
  • runny nose
  • itchy throat
  • stomach ache
  • itchy skin
  • hives
  • fatigue
  • irritability

Weather plays an important part for many allergy sufferers. This is why we include the extended weather forecast on Pollen.com. We are not weather forecast specialists therefore we get this data from the experts at NOAA and Weather Trends.

Our allergy forecasts include daily allergy reports that note the pollen count for your location. Find out more about our Allergy Alerts™ that can be mailed directly to your inbox. This allergy information can help sufferers manage their allergy symptoms.

How Can You Learn What Type Of Allergens Affect You?

The most common method doctors use to identify specific allergies is a skin test. By scratching the skin, or making an injection just underneath it, the doctor can observe your body's reaction to various allergens.

This skin test cannot classify all allergies, however it does cover major categories, such as common respiratory allergies, penicillin, food, and insect stings. Being aware of your allergy could prevent a future allergic reaction that could be life threatening.

The children of those with allergies have a greater chance of having allergies themselves. As a result, doctors often learn about a patient's allergies based on family and personal medical records.

Finally, doctors find clues in the recent activities patients engage in by asking a battery of questions to gauge allergy information. For example, to determine whether your reaction is a result of food, airborne or chemical allergens, the doctor might ask, "Have you eaten anything unusual recently?", "Have you been working or exercising vigorously outdoors?" or "Did you come into contact with anything which might have irritated your skin and eyes?" Your doctor will likely ask if you suffer from asthma, since allergies increase the risk of an asthma attack.

horizontal line
Any medical or health information included on Pollen.com is provided by IMS Health Incorporated, a non-medical professional organization. Information from external sources included on Pollen.com, including HealthDay News, are the responsibility of the third-party provider and not of IMS Health Incorporated.