Facts, Prevention, and Relief for Pine Tree Allergies

Updated
Updated

Pine tree pollen isn’t as allergenic as some other tree species, such as oak, birch, and elm, which makes pine tree allergies relatively uncommon. Still, pine tree allergies do exist. Pines can be found throughout much of North America, making them difficult to avoid if you do have a pine tree allergy.

It’s important to note that pine tree allergies are different from pine nut allergies. Pine nut allergies stem from the seeds of certain pine tree species, which are sometimes used as an ingredient in recipes. Pine nut allergies are similar to tree nut allergies like walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts. Pine tree allergies are similar to other tree pollen allergies.

If you want to find long-term relief from your pine tree allergies, Wyndly can help. Set up a consultation today to get your personalized allergy treatment plan. Read on to learn more about pine tree allergies.

What Is a Pine Tree Allergy?

Pine tree allergies occur when your immune system overreacts to you breathing in or being exposed to pine pollen. Although pollen is a harmless substance, your immune system may perceive it as a threat and respond with antibodies and histamine. This overreaction is what causes your allergy symptoms.

Allergic to Christmas Trees?

If you’re allergic to Christmas trees, you probably don’t have a pine tree allergy. Most Christmas trees are spruce, fir, or cypress. It’s more likely you’re allergic to these types of pollen than pine pollen. With that being said, it’s also pretty uncommon to be allergic to these pollen types.

Most of the time, if you’re allergic to your Christmas tree, it’s likely to be the dust, mold, or other more allergenic pollens sticking to the tree. When you get a Christmas tree, ask the seller if they can shake it off before you take it home, and then hose it down and let it dry before taking it in the house. This can help get rid of other irritants that may have stuck to the tree.

Common Symptoms

Though everyone will have a slightly different reaction to allergies, some common symptoms appear in most seasonal allergies. If you have pine tree allergies, you may experience the following.

  • Runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Scratchy throat
  • Itchy eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Aggravated symptoms of asthma

Pine tree allergies are seasonal, so you likely won’t have symptoms year-round, unless you have other allergies. Your symptoms may vary in severity and will typically be at their worst when the pollen count is high.

Where Is Pine Found?

Though pine trees are most known to be cool-climate trees, you can find them pretty much anywhere in the United States. There are plenty of species that have evolved to easily handle hot climates. Their bark is so thick that they can sometimes withstand the heat of a forest fire. There are about 125 species of pine in the world, not including hybrids.

You can find pine trees in forests, landscaping, along the road, and in a variety of other locations. The widespread nature of pines can make them pretty difficult to avoid for pine tree allergy sufferers.

U.S. Allergen Zone Map

When Is Pine Pollen Allergy Season?

Though pine trees are known for their ability to maintain their greenery year-round, they produce pollen around the same time as many other tree species. Springtime will be when pine tree allergies are at their worst.

Usually, pine trees will start producing pollen after temperatures consistently hit 55 degrees or higher. The end of April, the month of May, and early June are typically the peak of the pine pollen season.

Testing and Diagnosis

Since pine pollen allergies aren’t incredibly common, and the pine allergy season intersects with many other more allergenic trees, it can be almost impossible to self-diagnose a pine pollen allergy. With an allergy test, you can find out if pine trees are the true culprit of your allergies. Wyndly makes allergy testing easy with our at-home test. After you do a simple at-home finger prick test and send it in, we can look at your results and show you what allergies you have. Get your at-home allergy test today.

You May Have a Spruce Allergy

Spruce allergies are even rarer than pine allergies, so diagnosing a spruce allergy can be even more difficult. An at-home allergy test can clear up any doubt you might have about the source of your tree allergies.

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 pain by getting an at-home test.

Modern and Efficient At-Home Method

  1. Get 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 a 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 symptoms may be miserable to deal with, but there are ways to manage and treat your symptoms. Let’s take a look at some of these methods.

Limiting Exposure

Limiting your exposure is a good first step if you’re trying to manage your pine allergy symptoms. Airborne pollen is difficult to avoid completely, but trying these measures may help reduce the severity of your symptoms.

  • Check the pollen count: During allergy season, it’s a good idea to check the pollen count. On high pollen count days, it’s best to stay indoors as much as possible. If you do need to go outside on a high pollen count day, putting on sunglasses, a hat, and an N95 mask can help keep pollen out of your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Wash often: Washing your hands and showering often during allergy season can get pollen off your skin and hair. Be sure to wash your face at night at the very least.
  • Clean your home often: During allergy season, you’ll want to keep your home clean to get rid of pollen. Vacuum using a HEPA filter vacuum at least once per week, and dust using a wet rag to get pollen off of hard surfaces.
  • Only go outdoors in the evening hours: Pollen counts are usually highest during the morning.
  • Keep windows closed: Be sure to keep your windows closed so pollen can’t get in. Also, installing a HEPA filter on your A/C can help keep pollen out.
  • Do laundry often: Do laundry often to get pollen off your clothes, and don’t hang your laundry outside to dry.
  • Shake out Christmas trees: If you get a new Christmas tree, shake it out and wash it off before bringing it inside. Getting an artificial tree can be a good alternative.

Medications

Medications can help manage allergies when limiting exposure isn’t providing enough relief. There are several medications you can try to reduce pine tree allergy symptoms.

  • Over-the-counter: Over-the-counter allergy medications are very effective at providing short-term relief for most people and are widely available. Here are some of the common options:
    • Antihistamines: Antihistamines inhibit histamine response in your system, reducing your symptoms.
    • Nasal sprays: If a runny or stuffy nose is your main symptom, nasal sprays can help reduce swelling and inflammation to offer you relief.
    • Eye drops: Eye drops can flush pollen out of your eyes to relieve redness and itchiness.
  • Prescription: Prescription allergy medications may be used if OTC meds aren’t working. Consult your doctor to see if this is the right choice for you, but keep in mind that prescription allergy medications are only a temporary solution.

Sublingual Immunotherapy

If you want to treat your symptoms instead of just managing them, sublingual immunotherapy may be the solution for you. Sublingual immunotherapy introduces small, incrementally increasing doses of your allergen to your immune system. This helps your body learn to tolerate or ignore these harmless substances, providing long-term relief.

Get Long-Term Relief With Wyndly

If you’re looking for long-term relief from your pine tree allergies, Wyndly can help. Our allergy consultation comes with an at-home allergy test so we can confirm the source of your allergies. You can also get a personalized treatment plan that can help provide lifelong relief from your allergy symptoms. Get your allergy consultation scheduled if you’re ready to start living without allergies.

Pine Tree FAQs

Below are some frequently asked questions about pine tree allergies.

Can pine allergies be deadly?

It’s very rare for pine tree allergies to be deadly, as pine is not a very allergenic tree. Pine nut allergies, which come from the seeds of certain pine trees, can be much more serious. Nut allergies can cause anaphylaxis, which requires immediate medical attention.

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

Pine trees can be difficult to remove, and they’re prevalent. Pollen travels for miles, so you can still be exposed even if you remove pine trees from your yard.

Can I find a place without pine trees?

Pine trees are found in most of the Northern Hemisphere, so it would be difficult.

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