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Is pollen triggering your child's asthma and allergies?

Many people are allergic to pollen. Pollen can be particularly troublesome when it comes from grasses, trees and weeds. This pollen is blown around by the wind landing in the eyes and nose, and can trigger asthma and allergies. Pollens from flowering plants tend to be less of a problem as they are transported by bees rather than by the wind.

Limiting exposure

While completely avoiding pollen is difficult, there are several things you can do to help reduce your exposure.

  • Avoid going outdoors on days when the pollen count is high.
  • The amount of pollen in the air rises during the morning, peaks around mid-day, then falls in the afternoon and evening. Plan outdoor activities for later in the day when possible.
  • Use air conditioning rather than window fans during pollen season.
  • Use re-circulated air in the car rather than open windows.
  • Shower or thoroughly wash your face and hands after being outside to wash off sticky pollen.
  • Do not line dry your clothes if possible during high pollen count days.
  • Make sure you are taking your prescribed medications daily to manage allergies and asthma.
  • If you are landscaping your yard, choose flowering plants as they produce less pollen.

Thunderstorm asthma

'Thunderstorm asthma' is a combination of weather conditions and pollen that can trigger severe asthma symptoms.

When rain droplets and airborne pollen collide, the pollen grains are broken into tiny particles. These smaller particles can get further and deeper inside the lungs, triggering a strong asthma response.

Allergies and asthma

Many people with asthma also have allergies, either at certain times of the year or all year round. An itchy, runny or stuffy nose due to allergies can make your child's asthma harder to control. If this is happening to your child, talk to your doctor.

Kathleen Bowden
Kathleen Bowden MSW, AE-C Pulmonary medicine, UCAN Read more
Ginger Mary
Ginger Mary CPNP, MSN, AE-C Pulmonary medicine, UCAN Read more
Michael Schechter
Michael Schechter MD, MPH Pulmonary medicine, UCAN Read more


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