The elm is a large shade tree that can be found throughout most of the United States. With around 35 different species of elm, there are bound to be some in your area. While the shade and the wood that these trees provide are valuable, the pollen they produce can cause many Americans to feel miserable with allergy symptoms. Since the tree is so widespread and the pollen travels so easily, it can be pretty hard to avoid elms when they begin their pollen season.
If you’re having trouble managing your elm allergies, Wyndly can help. Wyndly provides personalized treatment plans for your allergies. Schedule your allergy consultation today, or read on to learn more about elm allergies.
Elm allergies will cause many of the allergy symptoms you would expect from other seasonal triggers. Since these allergies are seasonal, you shouldn’t experience symptoms year-round.
Here are some symptoms you can expect:
- Runny nose
- Scratchy throat
- Itchy eyes
- Watery eyes
- Aggravated symptoms if you have asthma
Your allergy symptoms will typically worsen when the elm pollen concentration is at its highest. High pollen count days can usually increase the intensity or frequency of your symptoms.
Where Are Elms Found?
Elms can be found in nearly every state, though they’re more common throughout the eastern and midwestern United States. These trees typically prefer moist environments, and they will often grow along rivers. Since they are wind-pollinated trees, their pollen can travel many miles. The pervasiveness of these trees and their light pollen makes them difficult to avoid for allergy sufferers.
When Is Elm Pollen Allergy Season?
Elm is unusual among trees, in that it has two allergy seasons depending on the species. While most species will release pollen in the spring, there are some southern species that do so in the fall. If it’s an elm that produces pollen in the spring, the season will usually begin in February and taper off by April. Fall elms will start releasing pollen in late summer and the season may last until November.
Foods to Avoid
If you have elm tree allergies, you may also sometimes experience oral allergy syndrome (OAS). OAS occurs when your immune system confuses the proteins found in certain foods with similar proteins found in elm pollen. The symptoms of OAS will usually include an itchy or tingly mouth.
Here are some foods you may want to avoid if you have elm allergies:
Fortunately, the list of elm-related foods is relatively short. If you do experience OAS symptoms, they are usually mild and will go away on their own fairly quickly. If you have a more severe reaction to food, seek emergency medical attention right away.
Testing and Diagnosis
It’s a good idea to get an allergy test so you can identify the specific source of your allergies. Elm allergy season happens at the same time as various other pollen allergies, so an allergy test can remove any doubts. When you know your allergens, it’s easier to avoid them, and it gives you options for treatment. Wyndly makes allergy testing easy with our at-home tests. Avoid the inconvenience of a doctor's visit and the uncomfortable in-office tests, and buy your at-home allergy test from Wyndly today.
Let’s explore 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 discomfort 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
Allergies can be miserable, but they’re very manageable — and in many cases treatable. There are several remedies and treatments available to find relief from your allergy symptoms.
Limiting exposure is recommended but can be difficult due to how prevalent airborne tree pollen is. With that being said, just because you can’t avoid it completely it doesn’t mean you can’t keep your exposure to a minimum. We have some tips for limiting exposure.
- Check the pollen count: When allergy season comes around, you’ll want to check the pollen count on a daily basis so you know what to expect. If the pollen count is high, try to stay indoors on that day. If you do need to go outside, wearing a dust mask, sunglasses, and hat can help keep pollen exposure down.
- Limit outdoor hours to the evening: Pollen levels are usually at their highest during the morning and early afternoon. If you want to spend time outdoors, try going outside during the evening.
- Trim tree branches: Trimming elm tree branches can reduce pollen in your immediate area.
- Rinse off when you get home: When you get home, you’ll likely have some pollen on you from being outside. Rinsing off in the shower can help get it off your skin and hair. If you need a quick substitute for a shower, washing your face and hands well should suffice.
- Keep your house clean: Keep your house as clean as possible during allergy season. Vacuuming and dusting will be the most helpful for removing pollen. Make sure to use a vacuum with a HEPA filter and a wet rag for dusting.
- Close your windows: Don’t keep windows open during allergy season. It’s better to run your air conditioning instead so pollen can’t get in.
- Take your shoes off: Take your shoes off when you get home to avoid tracking pollen in.
- Wipe off pets: Make sure your pets aren’t tracking pollen in. Wipe them off with a towel when they come inside.
- Avoid the aforementioned foods: Do your best to avoid elm-related foods.
Limiting your exposure can help when pollen levels are low or if your symptoms are mild, but many people will need additional support in the form of allergy medications. There are several allergy meds you may find helpful during elm season.
Over-the-counter: Over-the-counter allergy medications are the most widely available and versatile options for short-term allergy relief. Here are some OTC options you might try.
- Antihistamines: Antihistamines temporarily stop the production of histamine, which brings on allergy symptoms. Antihistamines are a well-rounded OTC med that can manage sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose, and other symptoms.
- Nasal sprays: Nasal sprays are made specifically for runny noses and congestion. These sprays will reduce the inflammation and swelling in your nasal tissues, providing relief.
- Eye drops: Eye drops flush pollen out of your eyes, providing relief from itchiness and watering.
- Prescription: If none of the typical OTC allergy medications are working for you, you may want to consult your doctor about possible prescription options. Typically, you’ll want to explore other remedies and treatment options before going this route.
Sublingual immunotherapy is a treatment for allergy symptoms, whereas OTC medications and limiting exposure just manage your symptoms. This treatment works by introducing small, gradually increasing doses of an allergen substance to your immune system. This retrains your immune system to ignore or tolerate these substances instead of triggering an allergic reaction. Sublingual immunotherapy uses drops or tablets that are administered under the tongue and can be taken in the comfort of your home.
Get Long-Term Relief With Wyndly
When you’re looking for long-term relief from your allergy symptoms, choose Wyndly. We offer personalized allergy care designed to treat your allergies at their source. The first step is to simply schedule your allergy consultation with our doctors.
Long-term relief from your elm allergies is possible with Wyndly. Schedule your allergy consultation today to get started.
Elm Tree FAQs
Below are some frequently asked questions about elm tree allergies.
When is elm allergy season?
Elm allergy season is usually in spring, but some species can start producing pollen as early as fall.
Can I just move somewhere without elm trees if I’m allergic?
There are elm trees in most U.S. states.
Can I remove elm trees from my yard to help with allergies?
Elm trees can be difficult to remove, and the effort likely won’t be worthwhile, since the pollen from elms that aren’t in your yard can still affect you. Trimming tree branches can help reduce pollen in your immediate area.