Archive for December 11th, 2010

posted by admin on Dec 11

I just found out that I’m allergic to elm pollen. Does that mean that the other tree pollens will trigger my allergy symptoms?
Elm pollen is unique and is unable to cross-react with any of the other tree pollens. As a result, other tree pollens will not cause symptoms because of your allergy to elm. If you begin having symptoms at times when elm pollen is not in the air, re-consult your allergist, as it is likely you have become allergic to another tree or to other types of pollen.

My friend says that she can’t go to San Antonio from December through January because of the mountain cedar pollen. I didn’t think that trees pollinated at that time of the year in Texas or anywhere else. Who is correct?
Your friend knows a lot about pollen. Although, in general, trees pollinate from the early spring to midsummer, in south central Texas, mountain cedar pollinates during December and January -and does so with a vengeance. This is an exception to the general rule that trees pollinate only in the spring.

I’ve heard that if you are allergic to grass, you shouldn’t eat breakfast cereals (barley, oats, corn, wheat, rice), because these cereals are in the grass-family and cross-react with grass pollen. Is this correct?
While cereals are in the grass family, breakfast cereals do not bother people who are grass allergic. Being allergic to pollen from the cereal plants does not necessarily mean that you will be allergic to the food grains produced by the plant. The situation is the same for pecans and pecan tree pollen. You can be allergic to the pollen and still enjoy the nut.

My hay fever is a problem just about the time that the goldenrod begins to pollinate, but my doctor told me that I couldn’t be allergic to goldenrod. I don’t understand.
In all likelihood you are actually allergic to ragweed pollen, which is the major airborne pollen at the time that goldenrod pollinates. You may not have noticed that the ragweeds are also pollinating at the same time as the goldenrods. They do not take on the bright gold color of the goldenrods so their pollen status is not as obvious. However, your doctor may be only partially correct. Ragweed and goldenrod are very closely related. If you are allergic to ragweed, it is highly likely that you will exhibit allergic symptoms if you are exposed to goldenrod. Still, because goldenrod pollen is quite heavy, it is normally carried by the wind only a few feet from its plant. Therefore, you would almost have to physically bump into the goldenrod plant to expose yourself sufficiently to its pollen to have symptoms. Although this seems unlikely, it can happen, as many a hiker and hunter can tell you.