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Let's talk about Allergies



What are Seasonal Allergies?

Seasonal allergies are sometimes called "hay fever" or seasonal allergic rhinitis. These allergy symptoms happen during certain times of the year, usually when trees, grasses and weeds release tiny pollen particles into the air to fertilize other plants.dfa Seasonal allergy symptoms include:

  • Itchy, watery eyes

  • Stuffy, runny nose and sneezing

  • Wheezing and coughing

What is the cause of Seasonal Allergies? Pollen, a fine powder that is produced by trees, grasses, weeds and flowers to fertilise other plants of the same species, is one of the most common triggers of hay fever.


A small pinch of pollen contains thousands of pollen grains, and these small and light pollen grains travel through the air, propelled for kilometers by wind. For this reason, they are known as airborne pollens. What Plants and Trees cause Allergies? According to the Real Pollen Count, the common culprits that produce highly allergenic pollen in South Africa are:

Trees

  • Cypress trees: release their allergenic pollen from June onwards.

  • Oak trees: allergenic pollen is released in spring.

  • Plane trees: flowers from the end of August and has a short pollen-release season of six weeks in spring.

  • Olive trees: common in public spaces in South Africa which releases allergenic pollen from October - March.

  • Elm trees: flower from October to March, releasing allergenic pollen during that time.

  • Rhus tree: a widely planted in South Africa that is mostly pollinated by insects, but pollen has been detected in air samples. It releases allergenic pollen from October to March.

Grasses

  • Ryegrass: flowers from late September.

  • Winter grass: produces tiny grass flowers in June in winter rainfall areas.

  • Wild oat grass: appears in midwinter in some areas, but takes a few weeks to grow to its maximum height of 0.3–1.2cm before it releases pollen.

  • Bunny tail grass: appears in September–October.

  • Thatching grass: this grass is very tall and is mostly found in the grassland areas of Gauteng and the Eastern Cape. It releases pollen from September to June.

  • Bermuda grass: releases most of its pollen in late summer, but it may be found throughout the year.

  • Buffalo grass: a coastal grass that may be seen in the Cape, especially along the east coast and on the Otter Trail between Knysna and Nature’s Valley. Up to 80% of South Africans react to Buffalo grass pollens.

  • Kikuyu: is favored as a lawn grass, and you should take care that the nursery is selling the female grass seedlings that do not produce pollen, suggests The Real Pollen Count.

Weeds

  • English plantain: widespread throughout South Africa and is seen during most months of the year, although its peak flowering season is in December.

  • Dandelion: its peak flowering time is late summer-autumn.

  • Reeds: different species flower at different times of the year, and their pollen is therefore present in the air all year long.

  • Daisies/Cosmos: November and March are the peak months for these weeds.

  • Heath: these are fynbos plants, and although fynbos is mostly insect-pollinated, pollen from species of this genus is constantly found in air samples from July until March.

What is the cause of Seasonal Allergies? Pollen, a fine powder that is produced by trees, grasses, weeds and flowers to fertilise other plants of the same species, is one of the most common triggers of hay fever.


A small pinch of pollen contains thousands of pollen grains, and these small and light pollen grains travel through the air, propelled for kilometers by wind. For this reason, they are known as airborne pollens. What Plants and Trees cause Allergies? According to the Real Pollen Count, the common culprits that produce highly allergenic pollen in South Africa are: Trees

  • Cypress trees: release their allergenic pollen from June onwards.

  • Oak trees: allergenic pollen is released in spring.

  • Plane trees: flowers from the end of August and has a short pollen-release season of six weeks in spring.

  • Olive trees: common in public spaces in South Africa which releases allergenic pollen from October - March.

  • Elm trees: flower from October to March, releasing allergenic pollen during that time.

  • Rhus tree: a widely planted in South Africa that is mostly pollinated by insects, but pollen has been detected in air samples. It releases allergenic pollen from October to March.

Grasses

  • Ryegrass: flowers from late September.

  • Winter grass: produces tiny grass flowers in June in winter rainfall areas.

  • Wild oat grass: appears in midwinter in some areas, but takes a few weeks to grow to its maximum height of 0.3–1.2cm before it releases pollen.

  • Bunny tail grass: appears in September–October.

  • Thatching grass: this grass is very tall and is mostly found in the grassland areas of Gauteng and the Eastern Cape. It releases pollen from September to June.

  • Bermuda grass: releases most of its pollen in late summer, but it may be found throughout the year.

  • Buffalo grass: a coastal grass that may be seen in the Cape, especially along the east coast and on the Otter Trail between Knysna and Nature’s Valley. Up to 80% of South Africans react to Buffalo grass pollens.

  • Kikuyu: is favored as a lawn grass, and you should take care that the nursery is selling the female grass seedlings that do not produce pollen, suggests The Real Pollen Count.

Weeds

  • English plantain: widespread throughout South Africa and is seen during most months of the year, although its peak flowering season is in December.

  • Dandelion: its peak flowering time is late summer-autumn.

  • Reeds: different species flower at different times of the year, and their pollen is therefore present in the air all year long.

  • Daisies/Cosmos: November and March are the peak months for these weeds.

  • Heath: these are fynbos plants, and although fynbos is mostly insect-pollinated, pollen from species of this genus is constantly found in air samples from July until March.

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies?


If you develop "cold" symptoms at the same time every year, seasonal allergies might be to blame. Allergy symptoms, which usually come on suddenly and last for as long as a person is exposed to the allergen, can include:

  • sneezing

  • itchy nose and/or throat

  • nasal congestion

  • clear, runny nose

  • postnasal drip

How to Treat Allergy Symptoms? Most minor allergy symptoms can be treated with antihistamines, corticosteroids or decongestants. Saline nasal rinses can be used for congestion-related allergy symptoms. Corticosteroid creams can treat skin rashes related to allergies. Immunotherapy is a long-term treatment option for chronic allergy symptoms.











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