Facts, Prevention, and Relief for Pennsylvania Allergies

Updated
Updated

Pennsylvania is known for its history, industrial economy, and the City of Brotherly Love — Philadelphia. It also has the less desirable distinction of being one of the worst states in the country for allergies. Pollen concentration is unusually high in the state, which contributes to miserable seasonal allergies.

If you’re dealing with the terrible Pennsylvania allergy season, your situation isn’t hopeless. There are ways to manage and even treat your allergies. Wyndly’s doctors can provide you with a personalized allergy treatment plan to bring you long-term relief from your allergy symptoms. Schedule your allergy consultation today, or read on to learn more about Pennsylvania allergies.

When Is Pennsylvania Allergy Season?

Pennsylvania’s allergy season is about the same length as the average allergy season, meaning it begins in early spring and will last until the first hard freeze of winter. Residents can usually expect spring allergies to begin sometime in February. Winter will also provide relief from pollen allergies, but indoor allergies could still pose a problem.

Allergens by Season

Let’s take a look at each season in Pennsylvania and the allergens that come with it.

Summer

Summer is when the grass allergy season will begin. Typically, this season will start in May and taper off around mid-August. Grass allergens in Pennsylvania include bent, fescue, orchard, brome, sweet vernal, and timothy grass.

Fall

Fall is weed allergy season in Pennsylvania. This season will usually take over for grass allergies in mid-August and will go on until the first frost of winter. Fall weed allergens may include ragweed, wormwood, amaranth, orache, and sagebrush.

Winter

Winter marks the end of Pennsylvania’s pollen allergy season, as allergy sufferers get a break for a few months. Of course, that doesn’t mean indoor allergens aren’t present. Remember that dust mites, mold, cockroaches, and pet dander can still cause problems.

Spring

Once spring arrives, tree allergy season takes over. Spring tree allergies will usually begin in February and go until late May. Common tree allergens for Pennsylvania include hickory, ash, maple, walnut, willow, oak, cedar, privet, and mulberry.

Common Allergens

Pennsylvania residents can expect many of the same allergies as the rest of the country. Tree, grass, and weed allergies will cause issues from spring to fall, and indoor allergens like dust mites, pet dander, and mold can cause problems year-round.

Common Symptoms

Pennsylvania residents can expect the following allergy symptoms:

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

As always, reactions will vary from person to person, but in general, allergies will cause one or more of these symptoms to occur.

Allergens Around the State

Allergens may vary based on what part of Pennsylvania you live in. Let’s take a look at some of Pennsylvania’s common allergens based on region.

Erie/Pittsburgh/Warren

The Erie, Pittsburgh, and Warren areas have spring tree allergies from hickory, ash, willow, walnut, maple, oak, and mulberry pollen. Summer grass allergens include bent, fescue, timothy, and sweet vernal. In fall, weed allergy triggers include ragweed, wormwood, amaranth, and sagebrush.

Altoona/State College/Williamsport/Harrisburg

The Altoona, State College, Williamsport, and Harrisburg areas start spring with tree allergies caused by oak, hickory, maple, cedar, mulberry, willow, and ash pollen. Summer grass allergies are from ryegrass, Bermuda, bent, timothy, brome, orchard, and fescue grasses. Fall weed allergies include ragweed, wormwood, pigweed, and sagebrush.

Philadelphia/Allentown/Scranton/Lancaster

The Philadelphia, Allentown, Scranton, and Lancaster areas have spring pollen allergies from oak, hickory, walnut, willow, ash, and maple pollen. Summer grass allergens include ryegrass, Bermuda, bent, timothy, and brome grasses. In fall, weed allergy triggers include ragweed, wormwood, amaranth, sagebrush, and orache.

Northeast Allergen Zone Map

Testing and Diagnosis

It can be tough to pinpoint the source of your seasonal allergies. With the various types of pollen in the air, knowing which tree, weed, or grass species is causing your symptoms can be nearly impossible. But if you take an allergy test, you can find which allergens are causing you problems. Wyndly makes allergy testing convenient and painless with our at-home tests. Buy your at-home allergy test from Wyndly today!

Let’s look into 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.

Treatment and Remedies

Though allergies can make you uncomfortable and even miserable, there are ways to manage your symptoms. There are even treatments available to provide you with long-term relief. Let’s take a look at some of these treatments and remedies.

Limiting Exposure

Limiting your exposure is a good first step to keeping your allergies at bay. Total avoidance of pollen allergies is difficult, but these measures can help keep your pollen exposure to a minimum.

  • Look at the pollen count: During allergy season, it’s a good idea to look at the pollen count when you wake up in the morning. This will give you an idea of how high the pollen levels are for the day and how bad your allergies might be. If the pollen count is high, try to stay inside. If you do go outside, wearing a mask, sunglasses, and a hat can help keep your pollen exposure down.
  • Vacuum frequently: Once allergy season hits, using a HEPA filter vacuum regularly can help reduce pollen in your home. It’s also a good idea to dust hard surfaces with a wet rag.
  • Use an A/C filter: If you can, put a HEPA filter on your A/C system. You should be running your A/C and keeping your windows closed so pollen is kept out of your home.
  • Shower after being outside: If you’ve been outside, rinsing off in the shower can get pollen out of your hair and off your skin. If you don’t have time for a shower, washing your hands and face well is recommended.
  • Take off your shoes: Remember to take your shoes off when you get home so you don’t track in excess pollen.

Medications

Limiting exposure can help if your symptoms are mild or if it’s not the peak of allergy season, but people will usually need some additional support from allergy medications. Allergy medications are helpful for providing short-term relief from a variety of symptoms. Some over-the-counter options you may want to try are antihistamines, nasal sprays, eye drops, and decongestants.

Sublingual Immunotherapy

While limiting exposure and taking OTC allergy meds can provide you with short-term relief, it’s not a way to treat your allergies for long-term relief. If you’re looking for allergy treatment, sublingual immunotherapy is a solution that can provide lifelong relief. Sublingual immunotherapy uses small, gradually increasing doses of an allergen to retrain your immune system to ignore these substances instead of producing an allergic response.

Unlike allergy shots, sublingual immunotherapy doesn’t require needles or visits to a doctor’s office. It is pain-free and can be self-administered at home.

Get Long-Term Relief With Wyndly

If you’re looking for complete, long-term relief from your Pennsylvania allergies, Wyndly is your solution. Our doctors can provide a personalized allergy treatment plan based on your allergy profile. Schedule your allergy consultation with Wyndly today!

Pennsylvania Allergy FAQs

Still have questions about Pennsylvania allergies? Here are some common questions and answers to help you out.

How long is Pennsylvania’s allergy season?

Pennsylvania allergy season is a typical length, starting in early spring and going until the first winter freeze.

Is allergy season bad in Pennsylvania?

Pollen concentration is particularly high in Pennsylvania, making allergy season fairly miserable.

Is Pennsylvania a good state if you have allergies?

Pennsylvania is frequently ranked as one of the worst states for allergies.

When is the Pennsylvania allergy season?

Pennsylvania usually begins in late February and ends after the first hard freeze of winter.

What are the worst months?

The worst months for Pennsylvania allergies include April, May, June, and September.

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