Facts, Prevention, and Relief for Sagebrush Allergies

Updated
Updated

Sagebrush is a shrub-like weed that grows well in western states. Sagebrush is unlike many other weeds in that it is actually a fairly beautiful plant, and it is quite useful to the ecosystem as an animal habitat.

Of course, as useful as sagebrush is to wildlife, the story can be different for allergy sufferers. Sagebrush pollen often causes allergies in the late summer and fall. The small pollen is lightweight and can travel for miles, making it a difficult allergen to avoid.

If you have sagebrush allergies, Wyndly can help. Wyndly’s doctors can create a personalized treatment plan designed to address your sagebrush allergy symptoms. Schedule your allergy consultation today, or read on to learn more about sagebrush allergies.

Common Symptoms

Though symptom severity may vary from person to person, sagebrush allergies will result in several common symptoms. If you have sagebrush allergies, you can expect to experience one or more of the following.

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

You may find that your allergy symptoms are worse on days with a high pollen count.

Where Is Sagebrush Found?

Sagebrush is primarily found in the western half of the United States, with arid desert climates being its preferred place to grow. Sagebrush can be seen in prairies, deserts, and even arid mountainous regions.

U.S. Allergen Zone Map

When Is Sagebrush Pollen Allergy Season?

Sagebrush is considered a weed, and it produces pollen around the same time as many other weed species — meaning those with sagebrush allergies can expect their allergies to begin around mid-August and last into late September. Sometimes the season may go longer, depending on the climate. Typically pollen will peak in September before tapering off.

Sagebrush is considered a moderately allergenic weed, and it’s not quite as allergenic as its widespread counterpart ragweed.

Foods to Avoid

Sagebrush contains similar proteins to the foods found in the Compositae family, meaning if you have sagebrush allergies, you may have an allergic reaction to the following foods.

  • Artichoke
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Chamomile
  • Echinacea

If you eat sagebrush-related food with sagebrush allergies, you may experience oral allergy syndrome (OAS). This causes your mouth to itch or tingle. If you have OAS, be sure to let your doctor or allergist know. In the case of a more severe reaction, you should seek emergency medical attention immediately.

Testing and Diagnosis

Sagebrush pollen peaks during the late summer and early fall, but it’s not the only type of weed-producing pollen. Without an allergy test, it can be difficult to determine which specific weed is causing your allergies. Fortunately, allergy testing is very convenient when you use Wyndly’s at-home allergy testing kit. Get your at-home allergy test from Wyndly today!

This is 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 personalized treatment plan. Our doctor will interpret your results, create an allergy profile, and walk you through your 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

    Although allergy symptoms can be miserable, they’re very manageable and often treatable. Here are some of the steps you can take to relieve your sagebrush allergy symptoms.

    Limiting Exposure

    If you want to reduce your allergy symptoms, one of the first things you should try is limiting your exposure to sagebrush pollen. This is often easier said than done because sagebrush pollen travels easily and there is a high concentration during peak season. But it’s still possible to keep your exposure to a minimum. Here are some methods you may want to try.

    • Check the pollen count: In the morning, it’s a good idea to check the pollen count. If the pollen count happens to be high, you may want to try to stay indoors more on those days. Also, you may want to wear an N95 mask and sunglasses if you do go outside on high pollen count days.
    • Watch out for peak hours: Weed pollen usually peaks in the morning, so try to limit outdoor time to the evening hours during allergy season.
    • Buy a filter: Using a HEPA filter or a dehumidifier can help reduce the amount of pollen in your home.
    • Rinse off: When you get home from being outside, be sure to rinse off in the shower to wash pollen off your skin and hair. At the very least, it’s a good idea to wash your hands and face before going to bed.
    • Clean your home often: Make sure to use a vacuum with a HEPA filter and dust your home frequently to get rid of the pollen that gets into your house.
    • Keep windows closed: Keep windows closed to prevent pollen from floating in. It’s best to run your A/C system during allergy season instead.
    • Pull nearby sagebrush: If you have sagebrush in your yard, be sure to pull those weeds so they can’t produce as much pollen. Mulching your landscaping with rocks and gravel can also make it more difficult for weeds to grow back. 

    Medications

    While limiting exposure may be enough for some people, many allergy sufferers will need further remedies to find relief. Allergy medication can help relieve symptoms temporarily.

    • Over-the-counter: Most allergy medications are sold over the counter. These options are widely available and effective at providing short-term relief for most symptoms.
      • Antihistamines: Antihistamines prevent histamine production for a short time, providing temporary relief from most allergy symptoms.
      • Nasal sprays: Nasal sprays are able to reduce inflammation and swelling in the nasal passages, helping to relieve symptoms of runny nose, stuffy nose, and congestion.
      • Eye drops: Eye drops can flush pollen out of your eyes, providing relief from itchy and watery eyes.
    • Prescription: If you’re finding no relief from OTC allergy meds, consider prescription options instead. Prescription allergy meds can be used as a last resort and will require a consultation with your doctor.

    Sublingual Immunotherapy

    If you want to treat your sagebrush allergies at their source, sublingual immunotherapy can help. With sublingual immunotherapy, your immune system is slowly exposed to your allergen triggers in measured, gradually increasing doses. This retrains your immune system to ignore or tolerate allergens, providing you with long-term relief. Sublingual immunotherapy is as effective as allergy shots, without the painful needles, the side effects, or the need to visit a doctor to receive a dose.

    Get Long-Term Relief With Wyndly

    When you’re ready to find the solution for long-term allergy relief, choose Wyndly. Our doctors can design an allergy treatment plan based on your allergies.

    Schedule your allergy consultation with Wyndly today to get started on the path toward lifelong relief!

    Sagebrush FAQs

    Here are some frequently asked questions about sagebrush.

    Can I move to a state without sagebrush?

    There are actually quite a few places where sagebrush doesn’t grow. Those who live in dry climates in western states will deal with sagebrush allergies in the fall, but most eastern and many central states don’t have sagebrush issues. Still, you may want to consider allergy treatment before moving to see if that can take care of your problem.

    Can I get rid of the sagebrush in my yard?

    It’s certainly possible to remove sagebrush from your yard, and this may help reduce exposure if there isn’t much sagebrush anywhere else in your immediate area. Remember that sagebrush pollen can easily travel several miles, so this is unlikely to bring you complete relief.

    Is sagebrush allergy season long?

    Sagebrush allergy season is actually relatively short, only lasting a little longer than a month for most areas. This is good news for those who only have a sagebrush allergy to deal with.

    When does sagebrush allergy season peak?

    Pollen concentration for sagebrush will typically peak in September.

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