Are My Seasonal Allergies Getting Worse This Year?


Why are allergies so bad this year?

Allergies are particularly severe this year due to climate change. Warmer temperatures cause plants to bloom earlier and extend the pollen season. Furthermore, increased carbon dioxide levels from greenhouse emissions stimulate plants to produce and release more pollen. These factors contribute to intense and prolonged allergy symptoms.

Get started
Wyndly Allergy

Beat your allergies forever.

Get Started With Wyndly

If you've been experiencing relentless itching, nasal congestion, and constant sneezing lately, you're certainly not alone. This year, allergies have hit hard, causing significant discomfort for many individuals. The spring season arrived early, shattering pollen-count records in certain regions and persisting relentlessly in numerous areas across the country.

What's particularly concerning is that this year's intense allergy season is unlikely to be an isolated occurrence. Recent trends indicate a worrisome pattern of lengthier and more severe allergy seasons. It's no surprise that patients began flocking to allergists' offices as early as March, seeking relief from their persistent symptoms.

So why are allergies so bad right now, and what can we do about it? In this article, we'll delve into the factors contributing to the severity of allergies this year.

Why Are Seasonal Allergies Worse Some Years?

Seasonal allergies can vary in intensity yearly, leaving many allergy sufferers wondering why some years are worse than others. The truth is that several factors contribute to the fluctuating severity of allergies, particularly those related to pollen allergies and the pollen season.

Climate and Weather

One key factor is the climate and weather patterns. Changes in temperature, rainfall, and overall climate can significantly impact plant behavior and pollen production, ultimately affecting the growing season. For example, a mild winter followed by an early and warm spring can lead to an early and robust pollen release, resulting in higher pollen counts and more severe allergy symptoms.

Conversely, a colder and wetter spring may delay production, leading to a milder pollen season with lower pollen counts. These fluctuations in weather conditions can directly influence the severity of allergies experienced by pollen allergy sufferers.


Another important consideration is the amount of exposure to allergens. Pollen levels can vary depending on the location and abundance of allergenic plants in a given year. Factors such as wind patterns, plant distribution, and local vegetation can impact the pollen count and, consequently, the intensity of seasonal allergies.

How Does This Allergy Season Compare to Recent Years?

This year’s allergy season has been worse than in previous years, and that is partly because of the influence of climate change on plant behavior and the allergen content of pollen. As our planet experiences warmer weather, plants are responding by blooming earlier and extending their pollen seasons.

A consequence of the warming climate is the lengthening of allergy seasons in several US cities. Spring conditions started about 20 days earlier across North America. The early onset of allergy season can be attributed to the earlier arrival of spring and spring pollen allergies.

With fewer freezing days, trees begin to flower earlier, releasing pollen into the air sooner than usual. Furthermore, the warmer temperatures in the fall allow plants to bloom late into the season, sometimes lingering into the winter months.

How Long Does Allergy Season Last?

The duration of allergy season varies depending on the specific allergens involved. Tree pollen is most prevalent during the spring and typically is released as early as mid-February through early summer. Grass pollen season peaks in the summer and tends to last from mid-May to August.

Weed pollen allergies kick off in late August or early September and typically persist until the first freeze of winter. Ragweed is a predominant allergen during this time, causing significant discomfort for many individuals.

It's important to note that these timelines can vary based on geographical location and local climate conditions. As an allergy sufferer, you need to stay informed about the specific allergens and their corresponding seasons in your region to better manage and prepare for allergy symptoms. Understanding the general timelines for tree, grass, and weed pollens can help you anticipate and manage your symptoms accordingly.

What Causes Seasonal Allergies?

Seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever, are triggered by specific allergens present during particular times of the year. These allergens can cause an immune system response, leading to symptoms such as sneezing, itching, and watery eyes. Several factors contribute to the development of these allergies, including:

  • Tree pollen: Tree pollen frequently causes allergies in the spring. Common types of trees that cause pollen allergies include oak, birch, cedar, and pine.
  • Grass pollen: Pollen from grasses, including Bermuda grass, Timothy grass, and Kentucky bluegrass, often cause pollen allergies during the summer.
  • Weed pollen: Pollen from weeds, including ragweed, sagebrush, and mugwort, are common allergens during the fall season, particularly in late summer and early autumn.
  • Mold spores: Mold spores, released by molds that grow in damp environments, can cause allergies. Inhalation of mold spores can lead to allergy symptoms.

What Are the Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies?

The allergy symptoms people experience will depend on what a person is allergic to and the severity of their allergies. While not every allergy sufferer will experience all of these symptoms, the most common seasonal allergy symptoms include:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Itchy or watery eyes
  • Itchy throat or ears
  • Coughing
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Facial pressure or pain
  • Dark circles under the eyes (allergic shiners)
  • Aggravated asthma symptoms (such as wheezing and shortness of breath)

How Does Seasonal Weather Impact Allergies?

Seasonal weather plays a significant role in impacting allergies. It does this mainly by influencing the levels of allergens in the environment, and thus, affects the body's response to them. Changes in temperature, humidity, and precipitation can affect the severity and duration of allergy symptoms.

Temperature and Precipitation

Warm weather, especially during spring, signals plants to bloom and release pollen earlier than usual, extending the pollen season. Increased temperatures can also enhance the production and dispersion of allergenic particles, exacerbating allergies and asthma for asthma sufferers. In contrast, heavy rainfall can temporarily reduce pollen levels by washing away pollen from the air, providing temporary relief.


Humidity levels also affect allergies. High humidity creates a favorable environment for mold growth, leading to increased mold spore concentrations. Mold allergies can worsen during periods of high humidity or in regions with damp climates.

Weather Pattern Changes and Air Quality

Furthermore, changes in weather patterns can affect air quality, with increased pollution levels exacerbating allergic reactions. Pollutants interact with allergens, making them more potent and irritating to the respiratory system, leading to more severe symptoms. This can also intensify asthma symptoms and make them more troublesome.

Is Climate Change Making My Allergies Worse?

Climate change is making allergies worse, and experts have found some interesting connections. Because of the warm weather arriving earlier each year, plants start releasing pollen sooner. This leads to longer pollen seasons and an increase in pollen levels.

That means more pollen in the air for a longer period, which spells trouble for allergy sufferers. Climate change is responsible for about half of the longer pollen seasons we're experiencing and for the roughly 8% increase in pollen levels. And, compared to 1990, pollen seasons today have a whopping 21% more pollen floating around.

How to Prevent Seasonal Allergies During Pollen Season?

The best way to prevent allergies is to avoid the allergens that cause your symptoms. However, this approach may not be feasible for everyone since some allergens are difficult to fully avoid. There are several steps you can take to prevent seasonal allergies during the growing season, including:

  • Keep your windows closed: By keeping your windows shut, you can minimize pollen entering your living space.
  • Utilize air conditioning: Air conditioning helps filter the air and reduces humidity, creating a more allergen-free environment indoors.
  • Use high-efficiency air filters: Install high-quality air filters in your HVAC system to capture pollen and other allergens effectively.
  • Monitor pollen forecasts: Stay informed about local pollen forecasts, and plan outdoor activities accordingly to avoid peak pollen times.
  • Limit outdoor exposure: Try to minimize your time spent outdoors, especially during times when pollen levels are highest, such as in the morning or on windy days.
  • Take a shower and change clothes: After spending time outside, shower and change into fresh clothes to remove any lingering pollen from your body and clothing.
  • Dry clothes indoors: Avoid drying your clothes outside, as they can collect pollen particles. Opt for indoor drying methods instead.
  • Keep pets clean: Regularly groom and clean your pets, as they can carry pollen into your home on their fur.

If you implement these preventive measures, you can reduce your exposure and alleviate the impact of your allergies.

How to Get Rid of Pollen Allergies?

If the measures above aren’t working as effectively as you would like, there are medications you can take. They range from over-the-counter (OTC) medications to prescription treatments. To alleviate and get rid of pollen allergies, you can try one of the several treatment methods below:

Over-the-Counter Antihistamines

OTC antihistamines can help relieve common symptoms such as sneezing, itching, and runny nose. They work by blocking the effects of histamine, a chemical released during an allergic reaction.


Corticosteroids, available in nasal sprays or as oral medication, can effectively reduce inflammation caused by allergies. Nasal corticosteroid sprays target nasal symptoms like congestion and runny nose.


Decongestants help alleviate nasal congestion by narrowing blood vessels in the nasal passages. They can be available as nasal sprays or oral medications, but prolonged use of nasal sprays should be avoided to prevent rebound congestion.

Eye Drops

OTC eye drops can provide relief for itchy, red, and watery eyes caused by allergies. Look for eye drops specifically formulated for allergy relief.

Neti Pot or Saline Nasal Irrigation

If you don’t want to use medication, a neti pot or saline nasal irrigation can help flush out allergens and mucus from the nasal passages, providing relief from nasal congestion and reducing allergy symptoms.

Allergy Shots

Allergy shots, also known as subcutaneous immunotherapy, involve receiving injections of small amounts of allergens to desensitize the body to what you’re allergic to. Allergy shots are a traditional method of allergy immunotherapy but can be a time-consuming and uncomfortable process.

Sublingual Immunotherapy

Sublingual immunotherapy is a treatment option where allergens are administered in small doses under the tongue to desensitize the immune system to specific allergens over time. It can be an effective long-term approach for managing allergies. Sublingual immunotherapy is as effective as allergy shots but is a popular alternative since it can be taken safely from the comfort of your home and does not require frequent injections.

Take Our Allergy Assessment & Get Treatment Today

If you're struggling with pollen allergies and seeking personalized treatment options, Wyndly can help. At Wyndly, our doctors understand the impact of allergies on your health and well-being. Our team will work with you to identify what you’re allergic to and create a personalized treatment plan for your allergies. Take our quick online allergy assessmenttoday to see how Wyndly can help you achieve lifelong allergy relief.

Is Wyndly right for you?

Answer just a few questions and we'll help you find out.

Get Started Today