All Stuffed Up from Pollen Allergies
Coughing is the body’s way of clearing the airways from things that don’t belong there – such as allergens. Hay fever can also cause shortness of breath, as mucus builds up in the lungs and the airway muscles flex, known as bronchospasm.
Some people end up with an itchy rash from touching pollen. It’s uncommon, though, since mast cells – which release histamine when they come in contact with pollen and cause allergic reactions – are well underneath the skin, not on its surface.
OUR EXPERT SOURCES
Dr. Paul Ehrlich is a pediatric allergist in New York and a fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. He is the author of Asthma Allergies Children: A Parent’s Guide.
Dr. Donald Stark is an allergist and professor at the University of British Columbia. He is a past president of the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.