Facts, Prevention, and Relief for Washington Allergies

Updated
Updated

The Pacific Northwest is a beautiful part of the United States, with mild temperatures, tons of greenery, and interesting cities like Seattle. Although Washington is a pretty state, that wild beauty comes at a cost for allergy sufferers. The plethora of plant life means Washington state has a ton of pollen, with some of the highest pollen counts in the entire country.

When seasonal allergies are causing problems, indoor allergies can also be a year-round cause of sneezing, coughing, and other symptoms. So, if you’re a Washington resident, what can you do about your seasonal allergies? What is the best way to reduce your symptoms?

With Wyndly you can get a personalized allergy treatment plan for your Washington allergies. Sign up for personalized physician care today, or read on to learn more about Washington allergies.

When Is Washington Allergy Season?

Though Washington has a mild climate throughout the state, there is often a brief break from airborne pollen in the winter. Most plants will stop producing pollen around late October or early November. Residents shouldn’t expect that break to last too long, though, as trees will often start producing pollen as early as February.

Allergens by Season

Allergies will be at their worst in summer, spring, and fall. Here is a breakdown of Washington allergies by season.

Summer

Summer is when grass allergies are the biggest issue for Washington residents. Common causes of grass allergies include ryegrass and Bermuda, orchard, Johnson, redtop, and timothy grasses. This season usually begins in May and goes until July.

Fall

Fall allergies in Washington are when weed allergies thrive. These allergens include ragweed, Russian thistle, and pigweed.

Winter

In Washington, winter does provide a brief break from seasonal allergies, short though it may be. Keep in mind that indoor allergies like dust and mold should still be managed during this time.

Spring

Spring in Washington is when tree allergies peak. The primary culprits for tree allergies include cedar, alder, willow, oak, birch, and juniper trees.

Common Allergens

Washington residents will primarily deal with seasonal allergies from trees, weeds, and grass species. Indoor allergens may include dust mites, mold, pet dander, and more.

Common Symptoms

Washington 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

Washington has a varied topography, with many different species of plants found throughout the state. This means some regions of Washington have different allergies than others. Let’s look at some of the most common allergens based on region.

Seattle/Tacoma/Everett

In the Seattle, Tacoma, and Everett areas, spring allergies are usually due to walnut, willow, oak, and ash trees. Summer allergy triggers include ryegrass and bent, timothy, orchard, sweet vernal, and brome grasses.

Portland/Vancouver

The Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington, areas experience tree allergies in spring from walnut, privet, ash, and oak trees. In summer, grass allergies take over, with ryegrass and bent, corn, orchard, and fescue grasses causing the most issues. In fall, weed allergens include wormwood and sagebrush.

Wenatchee/Yakima/Kennewick

The Wenatchee, Yakima, and Kennewick areas start allergy season in spring with willow, walnut, juniper, mulberry, and ash tree allergies. Summer grass allergies are often in response to bluegrass and Bermuda, bent, corn, and fescue grasses. Fall weed allergic responses may be to sagebrush and wormwood.

Spokane/Pullman

In the Spokane and Pullman areas, spring allergies are often to willow and mulberry trees. In summer, the main allergy triggers are ryegrass and Bermuda, timothy, rye, orchard, and fescue grasses. Fall weed allergens include wormwood, ragweed, and pigweed.

Pacific Allergen Zone Map

Testing and Diagnosis

Finding the exact cause of your allergies is fairly difficult. You might be able to guess roughly that you’re allergic to trees, grass, or weeds, based on when your allergies are at their worst, but it’s often impossible to know exactly which species is causing your allergies. Also, the intersection of these allergy seasons means you might be making the wrong assumption or not realizing that your symptoms are due to more than one type of pollen. With an allergy test, you can find the exact source of your allergies. Wyndly makes things easy with an at-home allergy test that just requires a quick finger prick. Get your at-home allergy test from Wyndly today.

Let’s discuss 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. Order 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 personalized treatment plan.

Treatment and Remedies

While allergy symptoms can be frustrating, they’re very manageable and even treatable in some cases. Let’s take a look at some of the options for treatments and remedies.

Limiting Exposure

The first measure you may want to try is limiting your exposure to your primary allergen. Airborne pollen can be difficult to avoid altogether, but the following methods may help lessen symptoms and make them more manageable.

  • Keep windows closed: During allergy season, pollen can easily float in through your windows and get into your home. Keep windows closed and run the A/C instead. It’s also a good idea to install a HEPA filter on your system.
  • Mask up: When you go outside on a day with a high pollen count, it’s a good idea to wear an N95 mask and sunglasses to keep pollen out of your airways and eyes.
  • Avoid the mornings: Pollen usually peaks during the morning and early afternoon hours. It’s best to limit outside time to the evenings if possible.
  • Take your shoes off: To make sure you don’t track pollen into the house, take your shoes off when you get home.
  • Clean your house: Clean your house frequently with a HEPA filter vacuum, and dust with a wet rag to get pollen off hard surfaces.
  • Clean your clothes: Do laundry frequently to get pollen off your clothes.
  • Clean yourself: When you get back from being outside during the day, it’s a good idea to rinse off in the shower to get pollen off your skin and hair. At the very least, it’s recommended to wash your face and hands well.

Medications

Limiting your exposure isn’t always enough to keep symptoms at bay. You may want to try over-the-counter allergy medication to help manage your symptoms. You can try antihistamines, nasal sprays, eye drops, or decongestants to deal with a variety of common allergy symptoms.

Sublingual Immunotherapy

Limiting exposure and allergy meds are fine for managing symptoms, but they don’t treat your allergies at the source. Sublingual immunotherapy is an effective treatment for seasonal and indoor allergies that can help you find relief for life. By introducing small, incrementally increasing doses of the allergens you are allergic to to your immune system, you can retrain it to ignore these allergens, resulting in long-term relief from your symptoms. Unlike allergy shots, sublingual immunotherapy doesn’t use painful needles, and it can be administered under the tongue in the comfort of your home.

Get Long-Term Relief With Wyndly

When you’re tired of dealing with your Washington allergies, contact Wyndly. You can schedule an allergy consultation and get a personalized treatment plan from our doctors based on your allergies.

Schedule your Wyndly allergy consultation today.

Washington Allergy FAQs

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

How long is Washington’s allergy season?

Washington’s allergy season is decently long, beginning in very early spring and going until late fall.

Is allergy season bad in Washington?

Washington can have fairly bad allergy seasons thanks to the abundant plant life.

Is Washington a good state if you have allergies?

Though Washington isn’t the worst state for allergies, it is far from the best.

When is the Washington allergy season?

Washington allergy season can go from February to early/late November, depending on the weather that year.

What are the worst months?

The worst months are April, May, and September.

Is Wyndly right for you?

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

Get Started Today