Facts, Prevention, and Relief for Oak Allergies

Updated
Updated

Oak allergies are among the most common seasonal tree allergies in the United States. Oak trees comprise around 450 species that can be found in North America, South America, Eurasia, Central America, and other areas. The pervasiveness of oak trees can make them a fairly difficult allergen to avoid.

Oak trees tend to grow just about everywhere. You can find oak trees in cities, neighborhoods, forests, and rural areas. These trees are wind-blown pollinators, sending their pollen into the air every allergy season. While avoiding oak trees completely is a tough endeavor, you can manage your symptoms and find relief with Wyndly.

Set up a consultation with Wyndly today, or keep reading to learn more about oak allergies.

Common Symptoms

While everyone’s allergies will act up in slightly different ways, there are some common symptoms that sufferers will experience from oak allergies. Oak allergies are seasonal, so watch out for these symptoms when allergy season rolls around:

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

A high pollen count can cause your allergies to get worse, but generally, these symptoms will be present throughout the allergy season if you have oak allergies. If you happen to notice these symptoms worsen when the oak pollen count is high, you may be able to assume that oak is the problem. However, it’s always worth getting an allergy test so you can pinpoint your allergies and treat them properly.

Where Are Oaks Found?

As we mentioned, oak trees can be found just about everywhere. There are 90 species of oak in the United States alone. They tend to prefer cool temperate and tropical climates. You can find oaks in urban, suburban, and forest areas alike. Since oak is a wind-blown pollinator, you can expect the pollen to travel and affect the air around the trees.

Oaks can be found in just about every state, so it can be difficult to avoid oak pollen regardless of where you live.

When Is Oak Pollen Allergy Season?

Oak pollen allergy season is primarily in the spring. The months of March and April are particularly bad for oak allergies, with pollen counts being the highest during these months. When oak allergy season comes around, you’re going to want to keep track of the pollen count and do everything you can do to reduce exposure and relieve symptoms. Oak is highly allergenic and is sometimes known to cause intense reactions in sufferers.

Foods to Avoid

Certain foods have proteins that are very similar to the proteins found in oak pollen. It can sometimes be difficult for your body to tell the difference between them, so you may want to avoid these oak-related foods to prevent any kind of complications.

Here are the foods that some people have reactions to if they have an oak allergy:

  • Apples
  • Chestnuts
  • Eggs

Fortunately, the list of oak-related foods is pretty short, so they can be easier to avoid. You’ll know if you’re allergic to an oak-related food if you have an itchy or tingly mouth after consuming these foods. If you have a more severe reaction, make sure to seek emergency medical attention right away.

Testing and Diagnosis

Allergy testing is important because it can specifically identify which allergens are causing you issues. When spring comes around and you start having allergies, it can be difficult to determine the exact cause. There are grass, weed, and various other tree pollens in the air that could all be contributing to your symptoms. If you want to make testing easy, you can take an at-home blood allergy test through Wyndly.

Here’s how different allergy testing options work:

Old-Fashioned Method: Skin Prick Test at Your Doctor’s Office

Skin prick testing is typically what you would do if you went to the doctor for your allergy test. This test involves using a needle tipped with different allergens and scraping your skin with each substance in the panel. After a short time, the doctor will look to see if the skin is red, itchy, or swollen in any of the spots that were pricked. This test requires you to make appointments, go in for the test, and deal with an uncomfortable and unpleasant test. An at-home test is a much easier solution.

Modern and Efficient At-Home Method

  1. Get a Wyndly at-home test. We ship our CLIA-certified test straight to your door.
  2. Take the allergy test and send it back to us. Our test requires just a quick finger prick so we can test your blood sample.
  3. Receive your personal allergy profile. Once we receive your test, we’ll examine it in our lab and create an allergy profile for you. Our doctors will then create a personalized treatment plan for you.

Allergy tests are great because they can show you every allergen that you should avoid, including both indoor and outdoor allergens. This makes it easier for you to treat symptoms and reduce your exposure.

Treatment and Remedies

There are plenty of treatments available for oak allergies. We’ve outlined some treatments and steps you can take to reduce your oak allergy symptoms.

Limiting Exposure

The first thing you should try is limiting your exposure to oak pollen and eliminating it from your life as much as possible. Due to the immense population of oak trees in the U.S., this can be difficult, but taking these measures can definitely help relieve some symptoms.

  • Check the pollen count: Once allergy season hits, you should start checking the pollen count every day. A higher pollen count will lead to more intense symptoms. You should stay indoors as much as possible on these days. You can use an app or website to check pollen count for various allergens.
  • Go outdoors in the evening hours: If you want to get your outdoor time for the day, the evening is going to be best. This is when the pollen count will be lower.
  • Wash yourself: You should shower often to remove oak pollen from your hair and body. Oak pollen is very sticky, so this will be essential. At minimum, you should be sure to wash your face well each night.
  • Clean your home: Cleaning your home thoroughly will also make a big difference. One of the best things you can do is use a vacuum with a HEPA filter. This will help remove pollen from your floors and upholstery. You should also wash your bedding once a week and wash your clothes often.
  • Use a HEPA filter: A HEPA filter or a dehumidifier can help reduce the presence of pollen in your home. Using your air conditioner can also help.
  • Keep windows closed: It can be easy for oak pollen to get into your home with the windows open. Try to keep windows closed as much as possible.
  • Avoid the aforementioned foods: Don’t forget to avoid oak-related foods.

While limiting exposure should always be your first move, it might not provide relief for everyone. At that point, you may want to move on to medications.

Medications

Medications can be very helpful when it comes to allergy management. There are several types of medications that might help you get through the oak allergy season.

  • Over-the-counter: You can find over-the-counter allergy medications that work for most ages. There are non-drowsy choices available if you’re needing relief during the day. Here are the common options:
    • Antihistamines: Antihistamines inhibit histamine response in your system. This will reduce your allergy symptoms.
    • Nasal sprays: Nasal sprays are great solutions for runny or stuffy noses. These sprays help to reduce nasal swelling, diminishing symptoms related to the nasal passages.
    • Eye drops: Eye drops can help flush pollen out of your eyes and reduce itchy and watery eye symptoms.
  • Prescription: Prescription medicines are usually your last resort if over-the-counter options aren’t working. Consult your doctor if you think you need to go this route.

When these other options aren’t working, consider a natural, holistic solution like immunotherapy.

Sublingual Immunotherapy Allergy Drops

Allergy drops, also known as sublingual immunotherapy, introduce small doses of an allergen to your system in increasing amounts. These drops are taken under the tongue and can help your body to learn that these are harmless substances instead of reacting with antibodies and histamine. Allergy drops can lead to lifelong allergy relief.

Get Long-Term Relief With Wyndly

If you’re looking for real, long-term relief from your allergies, choose Wyndly. We can send you an easy at-home allergy test that will help us determine the root of your problems. Once we identify your allergies, our doctors will make you a treatment plan to help you find long-term relief.

We can use allergy drops to help you get the best treatment possible and teach your immune system to ignore these allergens. If you’re wanting to find relief, we can help you get there. Wyndly doctors are ready to make you a personalized treatment plan to give you an allergy-free life.

Oak Allergy FAQs

Below are some frequently asked questions about oak allergies.

Can oak allergies be deadly?

This is extremely rare. Oak allergies typically just trigger an immune response, but those who also suffer from asthma may face additional complications.

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

Oak trees are fairly large trees and can be difficult to remove. Not only that, but they’re fairly widespread, meaning you’ll likely have other oaks nearby.

Can I move to a state without oak trees?

Oak trees can be found in most of the continental United States.

When will oak pollen be the worst?

Dry and windy days during March and April will likely be the days where your oak tree allergy symptoms are at their worst.

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