When To Contact A Doctor
Most seasonal allergy symptoms are mild and treatable with over-the-counter medications, while other symptoms may not require any treatment. Contact a doctor if you experience any of the following:
- Chronic sinus infections, congestion, or difficulty breathing
- Symptoms of allergies several months out of the year
- Undesirable side effects or no symptom improvement from over-the-counter seasonal allergy medicine
- Asthma or allergies inhibit day-to-day activities or quality of life
- Warning signs of serious asthma attacks such as difficulty breathing, wheezing or coughing, or tightness in the chest
Medicine for allergy relief can cause side effects and complications when combined with other drugs. Talking to a doctor before taking over-the-counter medications wont hurt they may be able to help you choose what medication is best for you. It is particularly important to contact a doctor before using allergy medicine if:
- You are pregnant or breast-feeding
- You have chronic health conditions such as glaucoma, diabetes, osteoporosis, or high blood pressure
- You are currently taking other medications
- You are treating allergies in a child
- You are treating allergies in elderly patients
- Your current allergy medicine is not working
A visit with a doctor or allergist might include:
- Allergy testing
- Immunotherapy, which is a treatment that periodically injects allergens with the goal of desensitizing the body, resulting in allergy relief
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When Does Allergy Season 2021 Start
Well, its technically *always* allergy season due to year-round offenders such as dust mites, mold, and pet dander, says Purvi Parikh, MD, an allergist and immunologist with Allergy & Asthma Network. But some allergenspollens, specificallyare seasonal.
Tree pollen, for example, pops up in the spring , grass pollen arrives in the late spring , weed pollen is most prevalent in the summer , and ragweed pollen takes over from summer to fall , says Dr. Parikh.
And, as mentioned, climate change means allergy season begins earlier and lasts longer, adds Corinne Keet, MD, PhD, a professor and allergist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Specifically, the season has been arriving 20 days earlier than it did in 1990, and contains at least 20 percent more pollen, the New York Times reported.
To get super-specific, Pollen.com has a National Allergy Map that provides an up-to-date allergy forecast in different areas around the country and an Allergy Alert app that gives five-day forecasts with in-depth info on specific allergens, helping you decide if you should stay indoors that day. You should also note that windy, warm, and sunny days can increase levels of pollen turnout, while drizzling or rainy weather is actually associated with no or lower levels of seasonal pollen, explains Clifford W. Bassett, MD, medical director at Allergy and Asthma Care of New York.
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When To Expect Spring Allergies To End
So when do spring allergies go away? Unfortunately, the same qualities that make allergy season start earlier also makes them stay longer. April tends to be the worst month for most spring allergy-sufferers, but spring allergies typically last until early summer. Its pretty easy to see why: Thats when most of the flowers and trees are blooming.
Tree pollen is the most common culprit for spring allergies. Grass and weeds also cause issues later in the spring allergy season. Most people see their allergy symptoms start to disappear by early June, but it can change depending on where you live in the country. The best idea is to be prepared and use our tips to fight them any time of year.
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Avoid Coming In Contact With Outdoor Allergens
Specific actions can make a difference in your exposure to pollen. Keep windows and doors closed at night, and avoid outside activities in the early morning when pollen counts reach their highest. Wear protective clothes or better yet recruit someone else for lawn mowing and other gardening tasks. After spending time outdoors, take a shower to remove pollen from your hair and skin and wash your clothes.
Which Antihistamine Is Best For Tree Pollen
Recommended treatment for pollen allergies includes: over-the-counter and prescription antihistamines such as Allegra, Benadryl, or Clarinex decongestants like Sudafed nasal steroids like Beconase, Flonase, or Veramyst and drugs that combine antihistamines and decongestants like Allegra-D, Claritin-D, or Zyrtec-D.
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Pollen In North Carolina
Runny or stuffy nose, itchy eyes, coughing, and sneezing are inevitable during The Pollening.
Throughout the year, plants release pollen as part of their natural reproductive process. Unfortunately, some of those plants rely on wind to spread their pollen.
You might think that the pollen causing your nose to run comes from flowers, but its more likely from trees, grass, and weeds. Pretty flowers and colorful plants are attractive to insects, which typically means they rely on insect-pollination. When plants dont rely on wind for pollination, they dont produce as much pollen . These wind-pollinated plants are the enemy of allergy sufferers all over!
What Causes Spring Allergies
Allergies occur when a persons immune system deems certain proteins, called allergens, as germs or foreign bodies. Developing an allergy and then experiencing an allergy attack is a two-part process. The initial step occurs when the body encounters the allergen for the first time and creates antibodies which attach to specific types of cells. This process, called sensitization, primes the body for an allergy attack the next time it experiences the allergen. When this happens, the cells release histamines chemical substances that cause unpleasant symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, and rashes on the skin.5
Different allergens cause problems for different people. The most common causes of spring allergies include tree and grass pollen, mold spores, and insects.
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Spring Allergies In The Midwest: Columbus Ohio
Spring is arriving in Ohio, which means that spring pollen season is also arriving. Some who suffer from allergies have experienced symptoms a little earlier than usual this year. The mild weather of this year likely extended the growing season for spring pollen allergy in Ohio. Mild weather and the warmer ground temperatures in the early spring due to lack of significant freezing or snow this Winter have probably set Ohio up for a long and challenging pollen season.
Spring pollen includes tree and grass pollen. Weeds, such as ragweed do not pollinate until later in the summer. Trees usually begin to pollinate first, in April and May. Some trees pollinate in early spring, while others pollinate more in the middle of the spring. A cold spring during which we continue to have frost, snow, or freezing rain into April may seem to bring a shorter pollen season. During such seasons, trees may not pollinate as heavily in the early spring. In this scenario, many people in Ohio with allergies notice the spring pollen allergy season starts a little later. Still, we can already see that things are starting earlier this year.
Understand The Priming Effect
Trees often pick up on the change of season earlier than we do. That means they can start releasing small amounts of pollen before wed ever even suspect that spring is in the air. Once youve been exposed to this early pollen, your immune system is primed to react to all types of outdoor allergens. This means, come springtime, you may suffer from heightened allergy symptoms for a longer period of time.
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Tips For Dealing With Spring Allergies
Use these simple tips to avoid symptom-triggering pollen and breathe easier this spring:
Know Your Pollen Count
Keep an eye on the daily pollen count for your city. You can use our handy pollen alert tracker in our Learning Center to track your citys daily reports. On days the count is high , stay indoors if possible to keep pollen exposure to a minimum.
Close Your Windows
Although its tempting to open your windows and let fresh spring air indoors, it may not be the best thing for your symptoms. Keep windows and doors closed to avoid letting pollen spores circulate and settle inside your home.
Shower After Spending Time Outside
Take a shower after spending time outdoors to wash pollen out of your hair and keep it from falling onto your pillow.
Use An Air Purifier
Air purifiers, especially those that have HEPA filters, filter even the tiniest pollen spores out of your air along with other symptom triggers like dust, mold, and pet dander. With regular use, you can reduce and even eliminate your symptoms. Browse our air purifiers for allergies to see our top recommended models.
How To Plan Ahead This Spring Allergy Season
When do spring allergies start and when should you start treating them? Get the facts so you can nip your spring allergy symptoms in the bud before the season is in full bloom. These helpful tips will help you better anticipate when pesky spring allergens appear in Canada so you can prepare for a springtime full of more outdoor adventures, and fewer sniffles.
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How Can I Ease The Symptoms
There are a handful of ways you can safeguard yourself to avoid a nasty few months of allergies.
Over-the-counter-meds: Antihistamines help to tame symptoms, but make sure youre seeking out options like Reactine, Aerius, or Allegra, Fischer said.
Try to avoid Benadryl or other medications that come with side effects, such as drowsiness.
Prescription medications: If needed, your doctor or allergist can prescribe eye drops, nasal sprays or other medicines to help alleviate symptoms.
Allergy shots: Those with severe allergies receive multiple injections sometimes weekly to tame their allergies.
Environmental factors: You can lessen your risk of encountering severe allergies by being mindful of your surroundings. For starters, dont dry your clothes outside that could bring in pollen thatll trigger your symptoms.
If youre going swimming over the summer in a river or pond, wear goggles and nose clips to keep any allergens out of the way. Once youre out of the water, rinse off.
When youre in the car, keep your windows rolled up and the air condition running, Waserman said. Try to keep your windows closed when youre at home, too.
But dont shutter yourself in during the warm months, Waserman said.
Pollen allergies are a fact of life in this part of the world. We have good things out there now to help you stay prepared, she said.
Dont Forget To Change Your Air Filter
As we often suggest, it is best to change your air filter seasonally, or every 3 months, this helps keep the air inside your home clean. Consider other environmental control products as well, both zippered pillowcases and mattress encasements can help reduce dust mites and even have shown to help with pet allergies.
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How To Prepare For Spring Allergies Now
During the late winter, weather throughout Kentucky and Indiana change daily. Giving a signal that the seasonal allergy season is upon us. As temperatures reach above 50 degrees, plants begin to bloom and release pollen into the air. Those with seasonal spring allergies will usually start to see symptoms in early March and last through May. Its important to start preparing for allergies now before pollen reaches peak spring allergy levels.
What Are Spring Allergies
Those with allergies in the spring are typically allergic to pollen that begins to appear in the air. We started seeing tree pollen, one of springs main offenders, back in the early weeks of February. In the latter part of the season, we will begin to see grass pollen, and the combination can make the spring a miserable time for allergy sufferers.
While the exact cause of allergies is not known, an allergy occurs when your immune system produces antibodies when exposed to harmless foreign matter. Your immune system is mistaking allergens like pollen and dander for dangerous substances and fighting off them off with the immunoglobulin E or IgE antibodies. These produce histamine that can cause the allergic reaction and the telltale symptoms of allergies.
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Home Remedies For Allergies
Some home remedies that can help ease seasonal allergy symptoms include:
- Keeping doors and windows closed
- Washing hair and changing clothes after going outsideVacuuming frequently
- Keeping humidity in your home in an unfavorable range for dust mites
- Using an air conditioner and air purifier
- Staying inside when pollen counts are high
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Know Your Local Allergy Forecast
Keeping on top of the type and amount of allergens in the air where you live is a great way to better prepare for spring allergy season and lessen the blow of your spring allergy symptoms. To be in the know about early spring allergies, you can use tools like The Weather Network Allergy Outlook, brought to you in partnership with FLONASE Allergy Relief. The Allergy Outlook gives you a detailed local allergy forecast so you can start treatment to alleviate spring allergy symptoms before they reach their peak.
Are Spring Allergies Different In The Midwest
Allergies to tree pollen are in full bloom in the Midwestand when spring allergy season begins, it comes on fast, according to allergists familiar with the area. When the tree season comes on, patients go from feeling normal to just being miserable, said Dr. Don McNeil, who specializes in allergy and immunology at Family Allergy in Columbus, Ohio. The spring allergy season is shortjust six to eight weeksbut it can make allergy sufferers highly uncomfortable.
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When Is Allergy Season Over
Since there is no one answer to the question, when is allergy season?, its also hard to say when allergy season is over particularly when many people with allergies will experience them at different times from one another.
Many people experience year-round allergy symptoms, regardless of when certain allergy seasons start and end.ii, v Allergy symptoms can also be caused by common indoor allergens such as dust mites, pet dander, insects and mold which can be hard to avoid day-to-day.ii If you are only allergic to one type of pollen or mold, however, allergy season may be over for you when that allergen is no longer prevalent.
People who are allergic to indoor allergens have what is known as perennial allergic rhinitis, rather than seasonal allergic rhinitis. However, its possible to have both, and people with the perennial strain can experience more severe allergy symptoms during pollen seasons if they suffer from perennial and seasonal rhinitis.ii
To find out whats causing your allergy symptoms, consult your doctor or an allergist. They can advise you on how best to manage and treat your symptoms during the allergy season that applies to you.
What Are The Most Common Allergies In The Spring
Because temperatures vary across the country, allergy season will start at different times depending on how each province is faring.
Across the board, tree pollen allergies start first, according to Fischer. It could start in late March and move into June for Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada, while B.C. has the worst tree pollen season kicking off as early as February and into June, he said.
After that, grass and ragweed pollens start up in August.
This will vary depending on where you live, moisture levels and temperature these all determine how much pollen youre getting, Waserman said.
Moulds grow quickly in heat and high humidity. Believe it or not, its not just what you think of in attics or basements mould spores crop up on your lawn outside after snow melts and the leftover grass from when you mowed last autumn resurfaces.
When people think of mould, they think of the black stuff on walls, but mould spore counts are incredibly high outside too, Fischer said.
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