Pecan trees are most notable for the tasty nuts they produce. What you might not know about pecan trees is that they’re actually a type of hickory tree. The hickory genus is broken up into two categories — the pecan hickory and true hickory. However, just because you’re allergic to one doesn’t mean you’ll be allergic to the other.
If you do have pecan tree allergies, they can be very manageable. Also, there is a good chance that you can treat your pecan tree allergies. Wyndly can help you find long-term relief from your seasonal allergy symptoms.
Schedule a consultation with Wyndly today to get started, or read on to learn more about pecan tree allergies.
What Is a Pecan Tree Allergy?
A pecan tree allergy occurs when your immune system reacts to the harmless pollen from pecan trees. Your immune system mistakes this pollen for a threat when it enters your airways, releasing chemicals and antibodies to fight the pollen. This causes a variety of allergy symptoms like sneezing, coughing, runny nose, and more.
Your allergy symptoms may range in severity and frequency from other individuals. Several symptoms are common to all seasonal allergies, and pecan tree pollen is no exception. Here are some of the common symptoms you can expect if you have pecan allergies:
- Runny nose
- Scratchy throat
- Itchy eyes
- Watery eyes
- Aggravated symptoms if you have asthma
When the pollen count is high, your allergy symptoms may get worse, or you may experience more symptoms than usual.
Where Is Pecan Found?
There are four species of pecan hickory, with shellbark hickory being the most allergenic of the four. Pecan trees can be found throughout the central and eastern United States, with some Western states also growing them. The northwest is where they become a rarer sight. These trees are wind pollinated, meaning the pollen can travel for many miles. They can commonly be found in orchards, yards, and along streets.
When Is Pecan Pollen Allergy Season?
Pecan pollen allergy season begins in mid-spring, typically around April. The pollen season will peak in late April and May before gradually tapering off.
Foods to Avoid
Cross-reactivity with certain foods can cause OAS. OAS or oral allergy syndrome is an allergic reaction that causes the mouth and lips to tingle or itch. It occurs when your immune system confuses the proteins in certain foods with the proteins in pollen. You may experience OAS from the following foods if you have pecan tree allergies:
If you experience a severe allergic reaction from eating food, you should seek emergency medical attention.
Testing and Diagnosis
If you’re needing to find out what is causing your allergies, it’s best to get an allergy test. Although self-diagnosis is possible, it can be hard to pin down the exact reason. Also, you may be unaware of other allergens that you might have. With an allergy test, you can find the allergens that are causing your problems. Wyndly makes allergy testing easy too, with at-home tests. Buy your at-home test with Wyndly today to get your allergy profile.
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
- 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
When allergy season rolls around, you’ll want to take measures to reduce your symptoms, instead of just putting up with them. Fortunately, allergies are very manageable and there are even options for treatment. Let’s take a look at some of the treatments and remedies available:
Generally, it’s a good idea to limit your exposure to your primary allergen triggers. Avoiding pollen altogether isn’t very feasible, but taking the following measures can ensure you keep exposure to a minimum:
- Keep an eye on the pollen count: It’s a good habit to check the pollen count every day so you have an idea of what to expect. When the pollen levels are high, you might want to stay indoors. If you do need to go outside, wearing an N95 mask can help you avoid pollen exposure.
- Trim pecan trees: If you have pecan trees in your yard, you can trim the branches to reduce the level of pollen they produce. This can help reduce pollen in your immediate vicinity, but it’s not a complete solution, as pollen can travel for miles.
- Keep your windows closed: During allergy season, keeping your windows closed can help keep pollen out. Run your A/C instead, so you can minimize pollen levels in your house.
- Do laundry frequently: Remember, pollen is very sticky, so you can easily get it on your clothes. If you can, try washing your clothes at least once a week to get residual pollen off. Just make sure you don’t dry your clothes outside.
- Keep the house clean: Using a HEPA-filter vacuum is a great way to get pollen off your floors and carpet. It’s also a good idea to dust hard surfaces with a rag. Using a wet rag will make sure you don’t kick up pollen.
- Rinse off often: When you get home from being outside, take a shower to get pollen off your skin and hair. At the least, washing your hands and face will make sure you’re not more exposed to your allergen than necessary.
- Towel off pets: When your pets come in, make sure to use a towel or rag to get pollen off them. This way they don’t track in excess pollen.
- Avoid the aforementioned foods: Do your best to avoid pecan-related foods.
Medications are a useful temporary symptom management solution that can provide short-term relief when limiting your exposure isn’t enough. There are a variety of options, so here are a few that you may want to look at:
Over-the-counter: Over-the-counter medications will be the most common and widely available option for short-term relief. Several types of OTC allergy meds can help with different allergy symptoms. Here are some of your options.
- Antihistamines: Antihistamines work by temporarily blocking the body’s histamine response, which contributes to allergy symptoms.
- Nasal sprays: Nasal sprays are best for symptoms of a stuffy or runny nose. They reduce nasal inflammation, providing temporary relief.
- Eye drops: You can flush pollen out of your eyes using eye drops, providing relief from redness and itchiness.
- Prescription: If over-the-counter allergy medications aren’t providing you with any relief, prescription medications are an option. However, you will need to consult your doctor first.
Managing your symptoms can help you get through allergy season, but OTC medications and limiting exposure don’t treat your symptoms. With sublingual immunotherapy, you can treat your symptoms at their source. Sublingual immunotherapy uses gradually increasing doses of your allergen to retrain your immune system to ignore your trigger substances. Sublingual immunotherapy is administered under the tongue using drops or tablets. It’s an equally effective alternative to allergy shots, which require painful needles and visits to the doctor, whereas sublingual immunotherapy can be taken at home.
Get Long-Term Relief With Wyndly
If you want to find long-term relief from your pecan tree allergies, let Wyndly help. With an allergy consultation, we can learn your triggers and find the best treatment plan for you. Our doctors will personalize your treatment plan to ensure you get the lifelong relief you need.
Schedule your allergy consultation with Wyndly today to get started!
Pecan Tree Allergy FAQs
Below are some frequently asked questions about pecan allergies.
Am I allergic to pecans if I’m allergic to pecan pollen?
While the pollen from pecan trees is what causes pecan tree allergies, there is a chance you could be allergic to the nuts the tree bears as well. If you have pecan tree allergies, it’s good to be cautious about pecans, as nut allergies can cause severe allergic reactions.
Can I move somewhere without pecan trees?
There are some states where pecan trees are rare, but it’s worth trying treatment before making a drastic change like moving.
When is pecan tree pollen peaking?
Pecan tree pollen will typically peak in April and May.