Your Guide: When Allergy Season Starts, Peaks, Ends

Wyndly Care Team
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What month is most common for allergies?

The most common month for allergies varies depending on the allergen. Tree pollens peak in the spring (March to April), grass pollens rise in late spring and early summer (May to June), and ragweed pollen is highest in the fall (August to November).

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What Are Seasonal Allergies?

Seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis, occur during certain times of the year. They are caused by an overreaction of the immune system to allergens present in the environment. Common symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes. Understanding the allergens that trigger your symptoms can help manage them effectively.

Common Allergens

There are numerous allergens that can trigger seasonal allergies. The most common include tree, grass, and weed pollen. Tree pollen is often the culprit in the spring, while grass pollen levels typically peak in late spring and early summer. Weed pollen, including ragweed, is particularly prevalent in late summer and fall. Mold spores can also cause seasonal allergies, with levels peaking in warm, damp seasons.

Climate changes have also been noted to have an impact on allergy seasons. Research shows that warmer temperatures and higher CO2 levels can lead to longer pollen seasons and increased pollen production. This can exacerbate seasonal allergies, making them a year-round problem in some areas.

What Symptoms Indicate Seasonal Allergies?

Seasonal allergy symptoms can vary in severity but generally include sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy or watery eyes, and itchy throat. These symptoms can be exacerbated by certain weather conditions or during specific times of the year when particular allergens are prevalent.

The onset of these symptoms can often be mistaken for a common cold, but unlike a cold, seasonal allergies do not cause fever or body aches. Duration is also a key differentiator: colds usually subside after a week or two, while allergy symptoms persist as long as you're exposed to the allergen. Moreover, the onset of symptoms is usually immediate after exposure to the allergen for people with seasonal allergies.

Understanding when allergy season starts and ends in your location can help you anticipate and manage symptoms. For example, in places like Alabama, Wisconsin, or New York, knowing the specific timing of allergens can help you prepare for the onslaught of symptoms. Anticipating the start of allergy season means you can start taking medications before symptoms begin, providing better control over them.

When Does Allergy Season Start and End?

Allergy season varies largely based on geographical location and the type of pollen. Generally, tree pollen season starts in early spring, grass pollen peaks in late spring and early summer, and weed pollen is highest in late summer through fall. However, climate change is impacting the length and severity of allergy seasons, often causing them to start earlier and last longer.

Allergy Season in Specific Regions

For instance, in Alabama, tree and grass pollen season begins in February and can last until June. In contrast, Wisconsin's allergy season starts later due to its colder climate. Here, tree pollen allergies start around April and grass pollen allergies peak in May and June. Meanwhile, residents of New York experience highest pollen levels from April to June, with grass pollen peaking in May and June.

Months Constituting Allergy Season

Although these are general timelines, it's important to note that certain factors can cause variations. Extreme climate changes can extend the allergy season, causing it to start earlier and end later. Furthermore, allergies can also be triggered year-round due to indoor allergens like dust mites, pet dander, and mold spores. Thus, for some individuals, allergy season can feel like a never-ending cycle.

How to Manage and Treat Seasonal Allergies?

Handling and treating seasonal allergies requires a multi-faceted approach. Initially, avoiding allergens when possible and maintaining a clean indoor environment can help lower exposure. Over-the-counter (OTC) remedies such as antihistamines, nasal sprays, and decongestants can provide relief. However, for long-term control, immunotherapy may be an effective solution.

Sublingual Immunotherapy

Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is a form of treatment where small doses of an allergen are placed under the tongue to help the body build resistance over time. It can be highly effective for pollen allergies and offers a home-based alternative to allergy shots. It's important to remember that while SLIT can help manage symptoms, it does not cure allergies. Regular use, as directed by a healthcare provider, can help reduce the severity of allergy symptoms and improve quality of life. For more on allergy treatments, check out this resource.

How to Prepare for Allergy Season?

Preparing for allergy season involves understanding when it begins, which allergens are prevalent in your area, and taking preventive measures. This could mean starting your antihistamines earlier, keeping windows closed to prevent pollen entry, and wearing sunglasses outdoors to protect your eyes.

Uncommon Allergy Triggers

While pollen is a common trigger, there are less obvious factors that can exacerbate allergies. Weather changes, particularly in regions experiencing climate change, can prolong allergy seasons and increase pollen counts. Indoor allergens like dust mites and pet dander can also cause issues, especially when spending more time indoors.

Another less-known trigger is cross-reactivity between certain foods and pollens. For example, if you're allergic to birch pollen, you might experience symptoms when eating apples, cherries, or carrots due to a protein in these foods that the immune system confuses with birch pollen. By being aware of these triggers and consulting with your healthcare provider, you can further tailor your allergy management plan.

Live Allergy-Free with Wyndly

If you want long-term relief from your allergies, Wyndly can help. Our doctors will help you identify your allergy triggers and create a personalized treatment plan to get you the lifelong relief you deserve. Start by taking our quick online allergy assessment today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it allergy season in NJ?

Allergy season in New Jersey generally starts in early spring, with tree pollen peaking in April and May. Grass pollen takes over in late spring and early summer, while weed pollen, especially ragweed, dominates in late summer and fall. Severity of symptoms may vary yearly.

Why are my allergies so bad in 2023?

Your allergies could be worse in 2023 due to a variety of factors. Climate change can lead to longer pollen seasons and higher pollen counts. Additionally, increased pollution and indoor allergens can exacerbate symptoms. Lastly, stress and poor air quality might also increase allergy severity.

When is the pollen season in Baltimore?

In Baltimore, tree pollen season typically begins in late February to early April, grass pollen peaks in May and June, and weed pollen is highest from August to October. However, exact timing and severity can vary based on weather conditions each year.

What does allergy season feel like?

Allergy season can feel like having a persistent cold. Symptoms often include sneezing, congestion, runny nose, itchy or watery eyes, and scratchy throat. You may also experience fatigue due to poor sleep quality. Severity can vary, and symptoms can last for weeks or months.

What month should I take allergy medicine?

The need to start taking allergy medicine varies depending on individual allergy triggers and regional pollen forecasts. However, for spring allergies, it's generally recommended to start medication 1-2 weeks before the season begins, typically in late February or early March. Always consult with your healthcare provider.

What is the best medicine for allergy season?

The best medicine for allergy season depends on your specific symptoms. Antihistamines like Claritin, Zyrtec, and Allegra can relieve sneezing and itching. Nasal sprays like Flonase reduce inflammation. Decongestants like Sudafed help with congestion. Always consult a healthcare provider for personalized advice.

Should I take medicine for seasonal allergies?

Taking medicine for seasonal allergies can help manage your symptoms. Antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal sprays are common over-the-counter options. However, it's crucial to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new medication to ensure it's the best course of action for your specific symptoms.

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