Aspens are beautiful trees known for their white bark and their stunning yellow leaves in fall. They tend to grow in cooler climates, preferring higher elevations to areas that have hot summers. If you have allergies to aspen tree pollen, though, you might not find these trees so appealing.
While aspen trees aren’t the most allergenic trees out there, they are considered moderately allergenic. If you have aspen tree allergies, there are ways to find relief from your symptoms. Wyndly can help.
Schedule an allergy consultation with Wyndly today, or keep reading to learn more about aspen allergies.
What Is an Aspen Tree Allergy?
An aspen tree allergy occurs when your immune system overreacts to aspen pollen. Your immune system perceives the harmless substance as a threat and responds with antibodies and chemicals like histamine. This brings on a variety of allergy symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, and more.
Aspen allergies are seasonal, so you should only experience allergy symptoms when the trees are producing pollen.
Here are some of the symptoms you might expect to have with an aspen allergy:
- Runny nose
- Scratchy throat
- Itchy eyes
- Watery eyes
- Aggravated symptoms if you have asthma
When the pollen count is high, you can expect that your allergy symptoms may be more intense or more frequent.
Where Are Aspens Found?
Aspen trees are primarily found in the western United States and the northeastern United States, especially in areas at high elevations. They can be found in some midwestern states, but typically only in midwestern states that are more northern, and they are rarely seen in any southern states. Aspen has wind-blown pollen, and the pollen can travel for miles. If you do live in an area with aspen trees, it can be difficult to avoid this pollen completely.
When Is Aspen Pollen Allergy Season?
Aspen pollen allergy season can be quite long compared to other trees. Since aspen trees prefer cooler weather, they have no problem beginning their pollen season as early as winter. The season will typically peak in spring before tapering off in the summer. Since the summers are cool in some of the places they grow, this pollen season could continue longer.
The season will usually start in February but sometimes as early as January. The season will usually peak in March and April before ending around May or June. Watch for days with high pollen count, as these will be when your allergies are at their worst.
Foods to Avoid
Another symptom of seasonal allergies to be aware of is OAS, or oral allergy syndrome. Oral allergy syndrome occurs when your immune system confuses proteins in certain foods with similar proteins in pollen. OAS can cause your mouth, lip, and throat to feel tingly or itchy.
While there aren’t foods specific to aspen allergies, aspens can be cross-reactive with beech pollen, which has similar proteins to the following foods:
Generally, OAS symptoms are fairly mild and will subside shortly. However, if you have a more severe reaction to food, seek immediate medical attention.
Testing and Diagnosis
Allergy testing is the best way to find out what your allergens are. This makes it easier to avoid high pollen days, limit your exposure overall, and even treat your allergy symptoms. Pinpointing the specific cause of your allergies without a test can be difficult, thanks to the various types of pollen in the air. Wyndly makes allergy testing easy and painless with our at-home tests. Get your allergy test from Wyndly today to learn about your allergies.
Let’s look into how different allergy testing options work.
Old-Fashioned Method: Skin Prick Test at Your Doctor’s Office
Skin prick testing requires you to go to the doctor to find out your allergen triggers. It’s often uncomfortable, and it takes time out of your day. You’ll go to the doctor’s office, they’ll administer a test where they prick or scrape your skin with a needle tipped with different allergens, and then they’ll observe the areas they pricked for itchiness, redness, or swelling. All in all, it’s not a pleasant experience. Instead, you can save yourself time and pain by getting an at-home test.
Modern and Efficient At-Home Method
- Order Wyndly’s at-home allergy test. We ship our CLIA-certified test straight to your door.
- Take the allergy test and send it back to us. Just do a quick finger prick test to provide us with a blood sample and mail it back when you’re done.
- Receive your personal allergy profile. Our doctor will interpret your results, create an allergy profile, and walk you through your personalized treatment plan.
Unlike self-diagnosis, an allergy test can reveal the full breadth of your allergies. This way you know exactly what you’re allergic to and how you can treat your symptoms.
Treatment and Remedies
While allergies can be frustrating, they’re not a hopeless condition. There are a variety of remedies you can try. There are even treatment solutions for long-term relief. Let’s take a look at the treatments and remedies for aspen tree allergies.
Limiting exposure is the first step you can take to try to relieve your allergy symptoms. Of course, airborne pollen from aspens isn’t going to be easy to avoid altogether, but reducing your exposure by any amount can be helpful. We have some tips for limiting exposure.
- Look at the daily pollen count: Knowing the pollen count for the day can help you limit your exposure. If you see it’s a high pollen count day, stay indoors as much as possible. If you do need to go outside, it’s recommended to wear a mask, hat, and sunglasses.
- Wash off after being outside: When you get home from being outside, it’s helpful to wash off pollen that may have stuck to you. A shower will be the most effective, but washing your hands and face well can be a quick substitute.
- Keep the house clean: Keeping the house extra clean during allergy season will be essential for keeping your home as free from pollen as possible. This means vacuuming and dusting at least once per week. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter and a wet rag for dusting.
- Install a HEPA filter in your air conditioning: A HEPA filter or dehumidifier can help keep pollen levels down in your house.
- Keep windows closed: Leaving your windows open makes it easy for pollen to get in. Instead, run your air conditioning during allergy season.
- Avoid the aforementioned foods: Avoid aspen-related foods.
- Do laundry frequently: Pollen can stick to your clothes. Do laundry often to clean pollen off, and avoid drying your clothes outside on the line if possible.
Limiting exposure can be helpful to a point, and for mild symptoms, it may provide enough relief. However, once pollen season starts peaking, you may need some additional help with medications. There are several medications you may want to consider to help you get through aspen allergy season.
Over-the-counter: Over-the-counter allergy medications are widely available and have non-drowsy options as well as options for children. Here are some OTC allergy meds you can consider.
- Antihistamines: Antihistamines work by temporarily blocking the production of histamine, which contributes to various allergy symptoms.
- Nasal corticosteroids: Nasal sprays are great for congestion and runny noses. They reduce swelling and inflammation in the nasal passages, providing short-term relief.
- Eye drops: Eye drops relieve symptoms of itchy and watery eyes by flushing out pollen.
- Prescription: If over-the-counter allergy medications aren’t providing you with any relief, it may be worthwhile to consult your doctor about prescription options. Typically, this is a last resort treatment option, and immunotherapy can be a much better choice.
For long-term relief and allergy symptom treatment, immunotherapy is the best option. Immunotherapy retrains your immune system to ignore allergen substances, instead of just managing the symptoms in the short term. It does this by introducing small, gradually increasing doses through shots, drops, or tablets. Allergy drops and tablets are known as sublingual immunotherapy and don’t require frequent visits to the doctor or needles like allergy shots do.
Get Long-Term Relief With Wyndly
If you’re seeking real, long-term allergy symptom relief, Wyndly can help. With an allergy consultation, we can determine your relief needs and provide you with a personalized allergy treatment plan to address your allergies.
If you’re a candidate for treatment, Wyndly can also send sublingual immunotherapy doses to your door. If you’re tired of dealing with aspen allergies, then schedule your allergy consultation today and take your first step toward an allergy-free life.
Aspen Tree Allergy FAQs
Below are some frequently asked questions about aspen allergies.
Can I move somewhere without aspen trees?
There are many states with aspen trees, but it is possible to move to states where they are rarely found. Generally, seeking treatment is a better option than moving.
Can aspen allergies be fatal?
It is very rare for aspen allergies to be fatal. They are moderately allergenic trees. However, if you ever experience symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, you should always seek emergency medical care.
Can immunotherapy work for aspen allergies?
Immunotherapy is an effective treatment for many seasonal allergies, including aspen pollen.