Outgrowing Pollen Allergies: Facts, Treatments, and Management

Wyndly Care Team
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Do pollen allergies go away with age?

No, pollen allergies do not necessarily go away with age. While some people might outgrow their allergies, others may find their symptoms persist into adulthood. In some cases, individuals might even develop new allergies as they age, including pollen allergies.

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What Do You Need to Know About Seasonal Allergies?

Seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis, are an immune system response to allergens like pollen from trees, grasses, or weeds. These allergies typically occur in spring, summer, or early fall and vary depending on the type of pollen in the air.

Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies

The symptoms of seasonal allergies can range from mild to severe and can often mimic those of a common cold. They include sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy or watery eyes, and an itchy throat. In some cases, individuals may experience fatigue, making it difficult to perform daily activities. These symptoms can start to occur when the individual is exposed to certain types of pollen. For example, tree pollen allergies, which are common in the spring, can cause such symptoms as detailed on Wyndly.

Causes of Seasonal Allergies

The primary cause of seasonal allergies is an overreaction of the immune system to pollen. When a person with a pollen allergy inhales the pollen, their immune system mistakenly identifies the pollen as a harmful invader and releases chemicals like histamine to fight it off. This reaction results in the symptoms of a pollen allergy. The type of pollen that a person is allergic to can determine when they experience symptoms. For example, grass pollen typically triggers allergies in late spring and early summer, while weed pollen allergies are common in the fall.

How Do Allergies in Kids Differ From Those in Adults?

Allergies in children can present differently than in adults, primarily due to their developing immune systems and differences in exposure to allergens. It's important to know these differences to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.

Children may exhibit non-respiratory symptoms such as stomachaches, headaches, and behavioral changes, which adults less commonly experience. Some children might also develop allergic shiners, dark circles under their eyes due to congestion. Moreover, allergies in children could lead to secondary conditions like ear infections or sinusitis, which are less common in adults.

In terms of allergen exposure, children may develop allergies based on their environment and genetic predisposition. For instance, a child growing up in a region with a high concentration of certain types of pollen, like tree, weed, or grass pollen, might develop seasonal allergies earlier.

Lastly, sensitivity to allergens can change as children grow. They might outgrow certain allergies or develop new ones, making regular check-ups and allergy tests important in managing their allergies effectively.

What Treatments Are Available for Allergies?

Several treatments are available for managing allergies, ranging from over-the-counter (OTC) medication to prescribed therapies such as allergy shots and sublingual immunotherapy. The choice of treatment depends on the severity of the allergy, the patient's age, health, and personal preference.


Allergy medications are primarily used to alleviate symptoms. They include antihistamines, decongestants, corticosteroids, leukotriene inhibitors, and mast cell stabilizers. Antihistamines are often the first line of defense, used to counter the effects of histamine, a substance in the body that causes allergy symptoms. Decongestants help clear a stuffy nose, while corticosteroids are used to reduce inflammation and swelling. Some of these medications are available OTC, while others are prescribed.

Allergy Shots

Allergy shots, or allergen immunotherapy, is a long-term treatment that aims to decrease your sensitivity to allergens. It involves receiving regular injections of a diluted allergen. Over time, these injections can make your immune system less reactive to the allergen, reducing symptoms. Allergy shots are a viable treatment option for severe allergies that don't respond to medications and can be particularly effective for specific allergies like tree pollen, weed pollen, and grass pollen allergies.

Sublingual Immunotherapy

Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is another form of allergen immunotherapy that involves placing a tablet containing the allergen under your tongue. Over time, this can help your body build tolerance to the allergen, reducing symptoms. Compared to allergy shots, SLIT is a more convenient option as it can be done at home. However, it's only available for certain types of allergens, such as grass and ragweed pollen. Like allergy shots, SLIT can be an effective treatment for pollen allergies.

How Can You Manage Allergies Without Medication?

Managing allergies without medication involves a combination of natural remedies, lifestyle changes, and environmental modifications. These strategies aim to reduce exposure to allergens, bolster your immune system, and alleviate allergy symptoms without the use of drugs.

Firstly, it's essential to minimize exposure to allergens. For pollen allergies, this involves staying indoors during peak pollen times, keeping windows closed, using air purifiers, and showering after being outdoors to remove pollen.

Another critical aspect is strengthening your immune system. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, adequate hydration, and sufficient sleep can help your body better cope with allergens.

Lastly, natural remedies like nasal irrigation can clear your nasal passages of allergens and reduce symptoms. Quercetin, a natural bioflavonoid found in fruits and vegetables, can also help stabilize cells that release histamine in the body, providing natural antihistamine effects.

While these methods can help manage allergies, they may not be sufficient for everyone. Severe allergies might require professional treatment like allergy shots or sublingual immunotherapy. Always consult with a healthcare professional for tailored advice.

Can You Outgrow Food and Seasonal Allergies?

Yes, it is possible to outgrow both food and seasonal allergies, although the likelihood and timeline can vary significantly from person to person. Factors such as the specific type of allergy, the severity of symptoms, and the individual's overall health can influence whether an allergy is outgrown.

For instance, many children will outgrow food allergies to milk, eggs, and soy, but allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish are often lifelong. Similarly, while some individuals may see a decrease in seasonal allergy symptoms over time, others may experience persistent symptoms into adulthood.

It's also important to note that even if an allergy appears to have been outgrown, symptoms can sometimes reoccur later in life. Regular monitoring and testing are therefore essential. For those suffering from pollen allergies, allergy tests can provide valuable information about potential changes in allergic responses over time.

How Do Allergies and Asthma Interact?

Allergies and asthma often coexist and interact in a complex way. People with allergies, particularly pollen allergies, are more likely to develop asthma. This is because allergens, such as pollen, can trigger an immune response that leads to inflammation in the airways, which can result in asthma symptoms.

Allergic reactions to tree pollen, grass pollen, or weed pollen can exacerbate existing asthma by causing increased inflammation and mucus production in the airways. This can lead to wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing.

Therefore, effectively managing allergies is a critical part of controlling asthma symptoms. This can involve avoiding known allergens, using medication to treat allergy symptoms, or undergoing allergy immunotherapy to reduce sensitivity to allergens. Regular allergy testing can also be beneficial in identifying triggers and monitoring changes in allergic responses over time.

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If you want long-term relief from your allergies, Wyndly can help. Our doctors will help you identify your allergy triggers and create a personalized treatment plan to get you the lifelong relief you deserve. Start by taking our quick online allergy assessment today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you outgrow a pollen allergy?

Yes, it's possible to outgrow a pollen allergy. However, it varies from person to person and is more common in children than adults. Regular immunotherapy treatments can also help to significantly reduce or even eliminate pollen allergy symptoms over a period of time.

What month is pollen the highest?

Pollen levels typically peak in the spring months. In many parts of the U.S., tree pollen is highest from March to June, grass pollen from May to June, and weed pollen from August to October. However, exact timings can vary based on location and weather conditions.

Can you build a tolerance to pollen allergies?

Yes, building a tolerance to pollen allergies is possible through immunotherapy. This involves repeated exposure to small amounts of the allergen, either through injections (allergy shots) or under-the-tongue tablets, over time. This process can significantly reduce or even eliminate your allergy symptoms.

Can you permanently get rid of pollen allergies?

While there's no complete cure for pollen allergies, allergy immunotherapy can significantly reduce symptoms or even potentially lead to long-term relief after the treatment has ended. This involves exposing the body to small amounts of pollen over time, gradually building up tolerance.

Can you outgrow allergies to medications?

Yes, it's possible to outgrow allergies to medications. However, this isn't guaranteed for everyone. The likelihood of outgrowing a drug allergy depends on the specific medication and the individual's immune response. Always consult with a healthcare professional before reattempting a previously allergenic medication.

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