Hazel trees, also known as filbert trees, are more known for the allergies from the nuts they produce than for the allergies from their pollen. With that being said, hazel pollen is a moderate allergen and can make for a miserable allergy season for those who are allergic — especially for those who live in or near nut farms. These hazel plants can be found as tall trees or as shrubs, and their pollen can travel easily on the wind for miles, making it difficult to avoid.
If you have allergies to hazel trees, Wyndly can help by providing personalized physician care for allergies. Schedule your allergy consultation today to get your personalized allergy treatment plan, and read on to learn more about hazel allergies.
What Is a Hazel Tree Allergy?
A hazel tree allergy is an allergic reaction to hazel tree pollen. Unlike a hazelnut allergy, which is a food allergy, a hazel tree allergy is your immune system sending out antibodies, histamine, and other chemicals in response to breathing in pollen.
If you have hazel tree allergies, there are several symptoms you may experience, including:
- Runny nose
- Scratchy throat
- Itchy eyes
- Watery eyes
- Allergic rash
- Aggravated symptoms for people who have asthma
You may notice your allergy symptoms become worse when the allergy season is peaking and the pollen count is high.
Where Are Hazel Trees Found?
Oregon is the primary hazelnut producer in the United States, with the Willamette Valley having quite a few nut farms. This is good news for fans of hazelnuts and bad news for those who live nearby and have hazel allergies. In addition to Oregon, hazel trees can be found in the eastern United States, the South, the upper Midwest, and California.
When Is Hazel Tree Pollen Allergy Season?
Hazel tree allergy season is fairly typical for tree allergies, starting in late February and ending in May. The trees produce a decent amount of pollen and are moderately allergenic.
Foods to Avoid
If you’re allergic to hazel trees, various foods may also trigger an allergic reaction. This reaction is known as OAS or oral allergy syndrome. It happens when your immune system confuses the proteins in hazel pollen with the proteins found in similar types of food.
This allergic reaction can cause your mouth and throat to feel itchy or tingly. These symptoms are generally mild and should subside quickly without the need for any intervention. If you have a more severe allergic reaction to food, seek medical attention right away.
Here are some of the foods to watch out for:
Testing and Diagnosis
Diagnosing a hazel tree allergy isn’t an easy task. During allergy season, there are a variety of different pollen types in the air. Any one of these pollen types could be causing your symptoms, or you could have allergies to multiple types of pollen. Plus there are indoor allergens to consider. Fortunately, you can find out what you’re allergic to with an allergy test. While allergy testing is usually inconvenient, Wyndly makes it easy with at-home allergy tests. 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, and 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 a 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 tree allergies can be miserable, there are plenty of options to manage your allergies. There are even options to treat your allergies. Let’s take a look at these various remedies and treatments.
During hazel allergy season, you should make sure to take extra care to limit your exposure to hazel tree pollen. This is a little easier said than done since airborne pollen is everywhere during allergy season. However, there are ways you can keep your exposure to a minimum.
- Check the daily pollen count: It’s a good idea to check the pollen count in the morning to find out what pollen levels will look like for the day. If the pollen levels are high, it’s best to try to stay inside as much as you can. Otherwise, keeping your outdoor time to the evening hours is better, since pollen levels usually peak in the morning or afternoon.
- Wear a mask: When you do go outside on a day with a high pollen count, wearing an N95 mask can help keep pollen out of your nose and mouth. Sunglasses can help keep pollen out of your eyes.
- Trim hazel tree branches: If you keep hazel tree branches in your yard trimmed, they won’t produce as much pollen. This can help keep pollen levels down in your immediate vicinity.
- Take more showers: When you get home, taking a shower can rinse the pollen off your skin and hair. Washing your hands and face well can be a good substitute for a shower.
- Clean your house: Keep your house clean from pollen by vacuuming with a HEPA filter vacuum and dusting with a wet rag.
- Keep the windows closed: Don’t let pollen get into your house through the windows. Keep them closed during allergy season instead, and run your A/C. It’s even more helpful if you have a HEPA filter installed on your A/C system.
- Do laundry: Be sure to wash your clothes more often to get the pollen off them. (Just don’t hang them up to dry outside.)
- Remove your shoes when you get home: Take off your shoes when you come home so you don’t track in pollen.
- Avoid the aforementioned foods: Try to avoid the hazel-related foods we listed.
Although limiting your exposure can be effective to a point, it might not be enough to provide you with the relief you need. Allergy medications can provide additional relief from your symptoms.
Over the counter: One of the most common and widely available options for short-term relief is over-the-counter allergy medications. There are a few different types of OTC allergy meds available.
- Antihistamines: Antihistamines are great for a variety of different allergy symptoms, and they usually come in tablets. These work by temporarily inhibiting the body’s histamine response.
- Nasal sprays: Nasal sprays are used to reduce swelling and inflammation in the nasal passages. If you get a runny or stuffy nose from allergies, these can be helpful.
- Eye drops: If you have itchy, watery, or red eyes, it’s a good idea to try eye drops. They can help flush pollen out of your eyes and provide relief from discomfort.
- Prescription: As a last resort, prescription allergy medications may be an option when OTC meds aren’t providing enough relief. You’ll need to consult your doctor if this is the route you want to go.
When you’re looking for long-term relief from your allergy symptoms, limiting your exposure and OTC allergy medications won’t be enough. Instead, you’ll need to try allergy treatment like sublingual immunotherapy. Sublingual immunotherapy works by introducing small, gradually increasing doses of your allergen to your immune system using drops or tablets; over time, your immune system is trained to ignore or tolerate your allergen instead of causing an allergic reaction. It’s a safe and effective alternative to allergy shots, which require painful needles and a doctor’s visit to administer.
Get Long-Term Relief With Wyndly
If you’re seeking lifelong relief from your hazel allergies, choose Wyndly to help. Our doctors can create a personalized allergy treatment plan to help you find relief from your symptoms.
Schedule your allergy consultation with Wyndly today to get started on your journey to allergy relief!
Hazel Tree Allergy FAQs
Here are some frequently asked questions we hear about hazel allergies.
Is there a place in the U.S. where hazel trees are less common?
Hazel trees are less common in the southwestern United States.
Where are the most hazel trees in the United States?
Hazel tree allergies are most common in Oregon, where the highest concentration of hazelnut production in the United States comes from. Those living near nut farms will usually have the worst allergies.
Will wearing a mask help with my hazel allergies?
If you have hazel allergies, it can help to wear an N95 mask during allergy season to keep pollen out of your nose and mouth.