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HomeHealthWhen Is Allergy Season In Virginia Over

When Is Allergy Season In Virginia Over

Prestigious Organizations Recommend Ventilation And Vaccinations

Allergy season is starting early in 2021

Several engineers and health scientists make the case for ventilation and air filtration in this Scientific American article.

According to a recent Nature article, bringing up ventilation levels to the recommended amount had the same mitigating effect as a vaccination coverage of 50% to 60%.

Ventilation and vaccinations are also recommended by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers and the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionto reduce the risk factor of airborne viruses.

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Q. Are you seeing more children than usual with allergy problems, due to all the increased time outside due to the pandemic?

A. This is a mixed bag. Yes, if the child is already allergic, spending more time outdoors will result in more allergy symptoms. On the flip side, because of the COVID pandemic, some kids are wearing masks, even when outdoors. Masking has probably not only reduced the cold and flu rates this year, but probably has reduced allergy burden as well.

Q. Can you offer some specific tips for allergy sufferers?

A. The key in battling your allergy season is to reduce exposure. So short of staying indoors all season with the windows closed, what else can we do?

Over the past year with more routine use of a face mask, with or without goggles, people have realized that these measures do have a positive impact in improving their allergy symptoms.

Other ways to reduce exposure:

  • Wear a mask when you mow or are buried in yardwork.
  • Drive with the windows up and the air conditioning on.
  • Keep the windows in the house closed and use air conditioning.

On the flip side, once there is inevitable exposure, because we like to be outdoors to enjoy the weather, the key is to remove the pollen.

Healthy Air Is On The Way

Find an Aprilaire professional near you.

Note: Aprilaire products are not intended to cure or treat any known airborne diseases. They can help in the reduction of airborne virus particles indoors. Continue to follow guidance from local public health officials, the CDC, and the World Health Organization about indoor and outdoor public gatherings.


At Aprilaire, we encourage breathing Healthy Air because we know it benefits your overall health. The American Lung Association knows it too. Thats why Aprilaire air filters are the National Proud Partner of the American Lung Association*, playing a key role in the fight to improve lung health and prevent lung disease.

We got to interview National Senior Vice President of Development Sally Draper about the importance of Healthy Air and how both Aprilaire and the American Lung Association are working together to help you Breathe the Fullness of Life.

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Activities Create Biggest Risks

She and Allen argue that the biggest risks in airline travel stem from activities like the pre-flight boarding process or when a flight is delayed and people are stuck on the plane. Marr, who has been wearing an air quality monitor when she travels, said CO2 levels are elevated during these aforementioned activities and are indicative of a lack of fresh air ventilation.

The airport also presents other problems for travelers.

Allen suggests airports create more touchless experiences, upgrade their HVAC system, and require masks. Some updates have already been implemented in some airports or will be implemented in the future.

Even though there are risks to flying, Marr and Allen say you are clear for takeoff this summer.


What We Learned About Our Regions Allergies

So uh welcome to pollen season in central Virginia! #rva # ...

AAC: Late February is when Premier Allergists first started seeing patients with symptoms, which is earlier than usual. Whats going on and whats in the air?

Kosisky: The DC area has experienced the fourth warmest winter on record. Once temperatures start reaching 60-65 degrees, we are in the moderate to high tree pollen range. Early-flowering trees awaken, like the cedar/cypress/juniper family, and even maples and elms.

AAC: How can we put things into context for allergy patients?

Kosisky: Allergy patients can react to pollen with counts in the air as low as 15 20 grains per cubic meter . Pollen readings were at 90 gr/m³ in first week of January, the highest recorded in that month in 22 years!

AAC: How do you measure pollen counts?

AAC: How does our area compare with other regions in terms of seasonal allergies?

Kosisky: Different allergen sources pollinate at different times which are influenced by weather, hence the term seasonal. Our area is rich in giant flowering trees called deciduous trees. There are approximately 17 19 different deciduous trees in our area that abundantly release pollen in the spring. As you go south, Florida/South Florida, you hit a tropical region of mostly bayberry, palm, eucalyptus and Australian pine tree sources. As you move west, its a grass region which triggers allergies in later spring into summer.

AAC: Do the warm to cold weather fluctuations weve experienced impact the pollen?

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Fall Allergy Season Well Underway

We are six days away from the first day of fall, and many people are dealing with allergies. Allergists say the timing of allergies in the fall is different from the actual season.

Ragweed is the fall pollen that triggers issues for some people. Local allergists say that ragweed comes out by early August, but behaves just like your typical spring pollen.

Rain washes pollen out of the air, but if theres a long stretch of dry weather like what weve seen lately, ragweed keeps accumulating in the air.

It peaks about Labor Day and then it starts to fall over that time period. By the end of September, its often dropped down to fairly low numbers. By a second good frost or Halloween, we are done with ragweed,” said Dr. Steven Pence, a physician and allergist from Allergy & Asthma Associates of VA.

Dr. Pence said that the only allergies that typically occur during the winter are due to dust mites, mold, and pet dander which are year-round allergies.

There are year-round pollens that are present. So well have dust mite and mold and pet danders… and dust mite and molds may increase in the fall particularly when the leaves have fallen. We will see some increase in symptoms that would be semi-seasonal, Dr. Pence said.

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When Should I Start Taking Allergy Meds

Theres no point in waiting until youre miserable to take allergy meds, especially if you want to keep up your outdoor workouts. In fact, allergists recommend you start taking meds a couple weeks before allergy season arrives, or, at the latest, take them the moment you begin having symptoms, says Dr. Parikh. Taking them early can stop an immune system freak-out before it happens, lessening the severity of symptoms, he adds. Check out the National Allergy Map to figure out when to start taking meds depending on where you live.

As for which allergy meds to take, if youre seriously stuffed, start with steroid nasal sprays such as Flonase or Rhinocort, which reduce inflammation-induced stuffiness, says Dr. Keet. And if you’ve got itching, sneezing, and a runny nose, too, look for non-sedating antihistamines such as Zyrtec, Xyzal, or Allegra, she adds. Just remember: While OTC allergy meds suppress symptoms, they dont cure the problem, so they may be less effective if your allergies are worsening, notes Dr. Parikh.

Washington Area Is Seeing A Long Intense Tree Pollen Season Get Used To It

Sneaking up on allergy season before it sneaks up on you

This story has been updated to incorporate Tuesdays very high tree pollen count.

Peak tree pollen season is here. The normal high point for the year in the Washington area is the third and fourth week of April. And the current season is showing consistently high pollen counts right on schedule.

Washingtons worst allergy days tend to come when tree pollen explodes in early to mid-spring. This year, it actually peaked on March 11, when counts surged to their highest level on record, following an otherwise slow start to the season. The March 11 count of 2,758.47 pollen grains per cubic meter of air has not been tested since although Tuesdays count around 2,150, the second highest this year, wasnt too far off.

Such an early spike was unusual, and it may not be surpassed moving forward, but the season so far has been punishing sinuses with a regular barrage of high-pollen days. Thats probably something we should get used to in a warming climate.

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What Can I Do If My Allergy Meds Aren’t Workingor My Allergies Are Getting Worse

If you’re already taking OTC allergy meds , allergy shots, a.k.a. allergen immunotherapy, make your immune system less reactive to allergens , and for some people, they can even induce a cure, says Dr. Parikh.

By giving small increasing doses of what you are allergic to, you train the immune system to slowly stop being as allergic, she says. This is the best way to address allergies, as it targets the underlying problem and builds your immunity to a specific allergen.

The downside? Allergy shots are a bit of a time commitment. You’ll need to get them once a week for six to eight months, then once a month for a minimum of two years, says Dr. Parikh. You need to be a little bit patient, too, because it can take about six months to start feeling better . But a life without allergies? Sounds worth it to me.

Allergy Forecast: A Bad Year For Everyone

Like taxes, allergy season is one of those things you just cant avoid. In fact, due to climate change, it may be getting worse. Warmer temperatures lead to more pollen production, so 2021 may be the most intense allergy season yet. And due to COVID-19 quarantine, children may especially have a rough year.

When is allergy season?

It starts in the spring and continues until the fall, but different allergens, the substances that trigger allergies, appear at different times.

: As spring begins, tree pollen is the top allergen, followed by weeds and grasses. In some parts of Maryland, its not unusual to see cars covered by the itchy stuff.

May to July: In May, all the trees, grass and weeds gang up to pump out allergens, making it a bad time for allergy sufferers. This is the start of peak allergy season, which continues until July.

: Enter ragweed, a common flowering plant. Ragweed is the leading cause of seasonal allergies, with 75% of all sufferers allergic to it.

With temperatures falling and plants starting to go dormant, the air starts to clear, bringing an end to outdoor allergy season. Now its possible to breathe a sigh of relief without coughing.

See the Interactive Allergy Forecaster for allergy conditions where you live.

COVID-19 and childrens allergies

Surviving allergy season

If your or your childs allergy symptoms are severe or continue a long time, your health care provider may be able to help or refer you to an allergist.

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Persistently High Pollen Counts After Slow Start

According to data from the U.S. Army Centralized Allergen Extract Lab in Forest Glen, Md., tree pollen counts first hit moderate levels on March 3. Before that, levels were depressed by unusually chilly February weather. But by the second week of March, counts quickly bounced to high and even very high levels in the second week of the month, climaxing on March 11, due to a sudden spike in temperatures.

Since the first high-pollen day , on March 9, the D.C. area has piled up at least 28 days of high or very high tree pollen, an unrelenting attack.

Unfortunately for those suffering from sniffles, the mid-March pollen peak wasnt driven by the trees that typically send counts soaring. Rather, it resulted from early blooming species that erupted from the sudden arrival of warm weather.

Temperature, sunshine and timing were right to set our cedar/cypress/juniper pollen counts soaring, Susan Kosisky of the U.S. Army lab wrote in an email, referring to the March 11 spike.

Kosisky, a microbiologist, noted that when temperatures reached the 80s later in March, pollen counts reached only 241.21 among those tree species, indicating they already shed much of their pollen by then. Presently, those early trees are only giving off a tiny fraction of pollen compared to last month.

But now, were dealing with oaks, which, along with their cousins pine, mulberry and sycamore, normally drive our peak tree pollen levels each spring.

For now? Keep the allergy meds flowing.

When Will Allergy Season Peak In 2021 An Allergy Forecast

Tips for treating allergies during high pollen season

Spring is creeping up fast in the United States, and that means warmer weather is on the horizon after a rough winter in some regions, but for those who suffer from seasonal allergies, there may only be a few weeks left in some parts of the country before allergens begin to kick into full gear. And one part of the nation is already beginning to feel the effects of the spring pollen season.

New research from Germany suggests that climate change is now causing allergy season to last longer, as rising temperatures are causing plants to bloom earlier, and pollen from early-blooming locations are traveling into later-blooming locations, UPI recently reported.

AccuWeather meteorologists, led by Senior Meteorologist Alan Reppert, released their annual spring allergy forecast this week, after digging into the data and exploring which areas of the country may experience an early or extended season as well as which areas could face higher-than-usual pollen counts.

Simply put, different allergens will begin to affect Americans at different points in the season, depending on the region and the weather conditions. AccuWeather forecasters have you covered on where in the U.S. allergy sufferers may need to stock up on tissues — and keep the windows closed at times this upcoming season.

Tree pollen forecast

The Southeast is already beginning to experience the first effects of allergy season. Trees around the Gulf Coast in particular, Reppert said, have begun releasing pollen.

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How Mechanical Ventilation Works

Mechanical ventilation works by pulling in freshly filtered air from the outside while moving stagnant indoor air out. It filters the outdoor air, balances its humidity, and dilutes indoor air of other contaminants like dust, seasonal allergies, mold, volatile organic compounds, and odor. These contaminants can leave you and your family feeling ill and fatigued, and contribute to sleep issues.

What Can You Do To Manage Your Allergies

While it’s difficult to entirely eliminate the effects of allergens on your body, there are steps you can take to make the symptoms less severe. Over-the-counter medications and antihistamines can treat allergies for a few weeks without a problem, and nasal steroid sprays work well for chronic symptoms. Other solutions include:

If you have seasonal allergies and work outside, change out of your daytime clothes once you’re home. This will reduce your exposure to any allergens collected during the day.

  • Wash your sheets weekly to reduce allergen buildup.
  • Keep your windows closed.
  • Stay inside from 10am to 4pm if possible.
  • Saline sinus rinses help flush out allergens and limit the allergic reaction.
  • If you’re allergic to your pets, keep them out of your bedroom.
  • Plan ahead for next monthâs allergy. If you know oak tree pollen will be high in March and April, start taking medication in February.

No one likes allergies. With a few lifestyle changes and basic caution, you can manage your allergies and get back to your life.

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Latest Wildlife & Nature

Pine pollen is a specialist in this regard, possessing small air bladders to help it stay aloft. Forest biologist Claire Williams has been studying loblolly pine pollen for years. Chasing it as it drifts up and out and testing its viability afterward. Her findings, published in the Journal of Botany, have found viable pollen 2,000 feet into the atmosphere and 25 miles offshore. But her studies have found pine pollen floating as far as 1,800 miles, depending on the weather. Despite prolifically pollinating pine trees dumping millions of pounds of pollen into the air each spring, pine pollen allergies are not as common as one would think. Oaks, elms, birches, cedar, pecans and willows are some of the main culprits.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has pollen counting stations throughout the United States, which constantly gather data on when and where we can expect pollen. Each year, they rate the best and worst 100 cities for spring and fall allergies based on average pollen count, over-the-counter and prescription medicine usage and number of allergy specialists available. Surprisingly, Richmond was ranked the worst city for spring allergies for 2020. Virginia Beach ranked 11th.

Common Seasonal Allergy Triggers

How to ease your allergies this season

If you sneeze and cough during certain times of the year, you may have seasonal allergies. However, occasional allergies arent something you just have to live with.

In many areas of the United States, spring allergies begin in February and last until the early summer. Tree pollination begins earliest in the year followed by grass pollination later in the spring and summer and ragweed in the late summer and fall. In tropical climates, however, grass may pollinate throughout a good portion of the year. Mild winter temperatures can cause plants to pollinate early. A rainy spring can also promote rapid plant growth and lead to an increase in mold, causing symptoms to last well into the fall.

The most common culprit for fall allergies is ragweed, a plant that grows wild almost everywhere, but especially on the East Coast and in the Midwest. Ragweed blooms and releases pollen from August to November. In many areas of the country, ragweed pollen levels are highest in early to mid-September.

Other plants that trigger fall allergies include:

  • Burning bush
  • Sagebrush and mugwort
  • Tumbleweed and Russian thistle

While the timing and severity of an allergy season vary across the country, the following climate factors also can influence how bad your symptoms might be:

Find expert care with an Allergist.

An allergist can pinpoint the cause and help you find relief.

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