Facts, Prevention, and Relief for Hickory Tree Allergies

Updated
Updated
Hickory Tree
John J. McClelland/shutterstock.com

Hickory trees are tall, gray trees with scaly bark. They’re common in the US and can be split into two categories — the pecan hickory and true hickory. If you have hickory tree allergies, you probably are feeling pretty miserable when spring comes around.

Fortunately, if you have hickory pollen allergies, you have options to curb your allergy symptoms. In many cases, you can even treat your hickory pollen allergies at their source. Wyndly can help.

Schedule a consultation with Wyndly today to get started, or read on to learn more about hickory allergies.

What Is a Hickory Tree Allergy?

A hickory tree allergy is caused by your immune system triggering an allergic reaction to fight the pollen produced by the trees. Though this pollen is harmless, your immune system may sometimes mistake pollen for a threat. The release of antibodies and other chemicals brings on the allergy symptoms that are so familiar for allergy sufferers.

Common Symptoms

There are several common symptoms you may get when you have hickory pollen allergies. For some people, these symptoms might be mild and manageable. For others, it may make your days during allergy season miserable and make it difficult to perform your daily tasks.

Here are some of the most common symptoms you might experience if you have hickory tree allergies:

  • Runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Scratchy throat
  • Itchy eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Aggravated symptoms if you have asthma

Your allergy symptoms will likely be at their worst when the pollen count is high during allergy season.

Where Is Hickory Found?

Hickory trees are very common, with both true hickories and pecan hickories spread throughout the United States. They are most common in the eastern US, but they can also be found in many central US states. The only areas where they are rare are in northwestern states. Hickory trees are commonly found in orchards, yards, and alongside streets.

U.S. Allergen Zone Map

When Is Hickory Pollen Allergy Season? 

Hickory pollen allergy season will usually start in March and end in May. Depending on the climate, the season may start earlier than March.

Foods to Avoid

Hickory pollen can be cross-reactive with certain types of food. This occurs because some foods have proteins that are similar to hickory pollen. This causes the immune system to react to these foods, typically in the form of OAS. OAS or oral allergy syndrome causes your mouth and lips to feel itchy or tingly. These symptoms will usually subside on their own shortly after appearing. If you have a more severe reaction to any type of food, make sure to seek emergency medical attention.

Here are some foods to watch out for if you have hickory pollen allergies:

  • Corn
  • Banana
  • Apple
  • Pecans

Testing and Diagnosis

Airborne allergens can be difficult to self-diagnose. There are a variety of different pollen types in the air at any given time, not to mention indoor allergens. Instead of guessing what your triggers might be, you can take an allergy test and find out for certain. With Wyndly’s allergy tests, you don’t even have to leave your house. We can send you an at-home allergy test right to your door. Buy your allergy test from Wyndly today.

Here’s 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

  1. Order Wyndly’s at-home allergy test. We ship our CLIA-certified test straight to your door.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

The onset of allergy season can be a stressful occasion for allergy sufferers. But with the right remedies or treatments, you don’t have to be miserable throughout allergy season. Here are some effective remedies and treatments for hickory allergies:

Limiting Exposure

Limiting your exposure to your allergen can help reduce the severity and frequency of your allergy symptoms. While pollen can be difficult to avoid completely, there are steps you can take to make it easier.

  • Look at the pollen count: Each morning, it can be helpful to check the pollen count for the day. If the pollen count for your allergen is high, you may want to try and stay indoors. Also, wearing a mask and sunglasses when you go outside can help keep pollen out of your airways.
  • Trim hickory trees: Hickory trees in your yard can produce a lot of pollen that gets in your home. You can reduce the pollen they produce by trimming their branches.
  • Take shoes off: When you get home, take your shoes off to avoid tracking in pollen.
  • Keep pets clean: If you have pets that go outside, make sure to wipe them down with a towel or cloth when they come in. This can get pollen off them, instead of letting them bring it inside.
  • Wash up when you get home: If you’ve been outside, washing your hands and face can get pollen off. If you have time, showering and washing your hair are even more beneficial.
  • Do laundry: Clothes can get just as much pollen on them as your skin and hair. Make sure to do laundry regularly during allergy season.
  • Keep the house clean: It’s also helpful to clean your house at least once a week during allergy season. You’ll want to vacuum using a HEPA-filter vacuum and dust with a wet cloth to get the best results.
  • Keep the windows closed: Make sure pollen isn’t getting in easily through your windows. Running your A/C during allergy season is a better idea.
  • Avoid the aforementioned foods: Do your best to avoid hickory-related foods.

Medications

Sometimes, limiting your exposure isn’t enough to provide you with the relief you need from allergy symptoms. Medications can be an effective way to temporarily manage a variety of allergy symptoms. Here are some you may want to consider:

  • Over-the-counter: The best option for most people will be over-the-counter allergy medications. They provide short-term relief from a variety of symptoms and are widely available. Here are some you may want to try:
    • Antihistamines: Antihistamines work by inhibiting the histamine response. This provides relief from a variety of common allergy symptoms. They also come in variations that are non-drowsy, as well as options for children.
    • Nasal sprays: Nasal sprays are best used if you have consistent runny or stuffy nose symptoms. They can reduce the swelling and inflammation that contribute to these symptoms.
    • Eye drops: Eye drops are helpful for watery, red, and itchy eyes. They work by flushing out pollen.
  • Prescription: If your symptoms are still unmanageable, you may want to consult your doctor about prescription options. This is usually a last resort option.

Sublingual Immunotherapy

Managing your symptoms is useful for helping you get through allergy season without too much misery, but it’s just short-term relief. If you want long-term relief, you’ll need allergy treatment. Sublingual immunotherapy is a safe and effective allergy treatment that retrains your immune system to ignore allergy triggers over time. It works by introducing small, gradually increasing doses of your allergen with under-the-tongue drops or tablets. These drops can be self-administered from home and provide long-term relief from your symptoms.

Get Long-Term Relief With Wyndly

When you’re ready to start treating your hickory allergies instead of just managing them, Wyndly can help. We start by conducting an allergy consultation to determine your triggers. When we have your triggers, our doctors can create a personalized allergy treatment plan to relieve your symptoms.

Schedule your allergy consultation with Wyndly today to get started!

Hickory Tree Allergy FAQs

Below are some frequently asked questions about hickory allergies.

Can I just get rid of hickory trees from my yard?

Removing trees altogether is a lot of work, not to mention the fact that trees in your local area will still be producing pollen. If you want to reduce pollen in your immediate vicinity, trimming the branches is usually a simpler solution.

Can I move to a state without hickory trees?

Hickory trees are found throughout much of the United States. It may be worth trying treatment before going through the hassle of moving.

When does hickory pollen peak?

Hickory pollen levels usually peak in March and April.

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