60 million people per year in the United States suffer from pollen allergies.

*According to the CDC.

Condition content was medically reviewed by an AllerVie Health physician in Oct. 2022.

Young woman outdoors suffering from pollen allergies

What Is a Pollen Allergy?

When your immune system overreacts to pollen from trees, plants, and weeds, this is called hay fever or allergic rhinitis. It’s like your body thinks pollen is dangerous and starts to fight it, which causes some not-so-nice symptoms. Some of these signs are coughing, a runny nose, watery, itchy eyes, and a sore throat.

The severity of these symptoms depends on how sensitive you are to pollen. Pollen allergies are most common in the spring and fall, when trees, plants, and weeds release their pollen.

Symptoms of Pollen Allergy

Symptoms of pollen allergy can range from very mild and slightly inconvenient to severe and debilitating.

Severe Allergy Symptoms

Allergy Symptoms

Asthma Symptoms

Pollen Allergy Rash

man outside feeling bad with sore throat


Unlike pollen allergies, oral allergy syndrome (OAS) can occur at any time of year, given the fact that many fruits and vegetables are sold out of season in the modern world.

While there is currently no definitive test for identifying the presence of OAS, patients with symptoms related to the disorder often have a positive diagnosis of a pollen allergy and have experienced regular symptoms when consuming certain fruits and vegetables.

Also known as pollen fruit syndrome or pollen fruit allergy syndrome, oral allergy syndrome is a cross-reactivity that occurs in patients with existing allergic rhinitis when they consume certain fruits and vegetables.

Since the proteins found in these fruits and vegetables are very like the ones found in certain pollens, patients with pollen-triggered rhinitis have a contact allergic reaction when eating these foods. As an example, as many as three out of four adults with an allergy to birch tree pollen will have a contact allergic reaction when consuming apples or celery.

Types of Pollen Allergy

There are three main types of pollen allergy: tree pollen allergy, grass pollen allergy, and weed pollen allergy. These vary in type and severity depending on geography. The season can also vary depending on where you live.

Tree Pollen

Grass Pollen

Weed Pollen

What causes Pollen Allergies?

How severe your pollen allergy is most likely determined by where you live and your exposure to the pollen.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) your location can have an impact on your seasonal allergies. AAFA’s Allergy Capitals™ report looks at the top 100 most challenging cities in America to live with seasonal pollen allergies.

What IS A Pollen Count? 

Pollen count is a number unique to your city or region. In fact, many local news sources and weather reports include a pollen count on their website. It is counted under a microscope by professionals in your region of the country. Depending on what they are counting and what you are allergic to, a high pollen count may or may not be relevant to you. You can use this information as a guideline by measuring your allergy symptoms to their reporting. 

Tests for Pollen Allergy

If you are suffering from the symptoms stated above, you know how frustrating it can be to feel like you can’t live your life as usual. Our specialists will work with you to get an accurate diagnosis and unique treatment targeted to your specific allergens. We diagnose your specific pollen allergies using the following tests:

When You Should See a Doctor

There are many advanced treatments for pollen allergies that are not offered over the counter. To find out what options are available to you, we recommend seeing one of our specialists. You can request a referral to a board-certified allergist who specializes in allergy testing and treatment at AllerVie or you may contact us directly.

During the initial appointment, we will talk about your symptoms, how long you’ve been experiencing them, and discuss options for testing to help determine triggers and to cater treatment specifically for you.

What can you expect from a pollen allergy consultation 

We may ask:
  • What symptoms are you experiencing?
  • How long have you been experiencing symptoms?
  • When do these symptoms typically happen?
You may be wondering:
  • Are these symptoms typical for pollen allergies?
  • Should I get tested for allergies?
  • What treatments do you offer? 

Pollen Allergy Treatment

Common treatments for a pollen allergy include lifestyle changes, over-the-counter medications, or even allergy shots: 

Lifestyle Changes for Pollen Allergy

Medicine for Pollen Allergy 

Allergy Shots for Pollen Allergy

Bee Pollen for Pollen Allergies

Tips for Managing Pollen Allergies

Pollen is virtually invisible to the naked eye so you have to use your imagination when trying to eradicate it from your home and environment. Things you can do to eliminate or limit pollen in your home and in your nose include:

  • Vacuum and dust frequently, cleaning air ducts and windows
  • Take a shower after yard work or outdoor activities
  • Keep pets well brushed and clean, as they can bring pollen into your home
  • Don’t rub your eyes
  • Use nasal rinses

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do pollen allergies usually last?

How can I stop being allergic to pollen?

Why am I suddenly allergic to pollen?