What You Need to Know About Spring Allergies
The spring season has historically been considered a time of new beginnings. The long, cold winter has come and gone. Spring marks the turning point for warmer weather, longer hours in the day, and a lift in spirits for many people. There is an abundance of reasons why spring is such a great season. However, if you are someone who suffers from spring allergies, it may be a difficult time of year to enjoy.
Luckily, St Louis Allergy Relief Center is here to outline exactly what you need to know about spring allergies. Here we will outline when spring allergies start to what causes allergies this time of year. We have mapped out what you can do to help reduce your allergy symptoms so you can actually enjoy the wonders the spring season brings forth!
What is the timeline for Spring Allergies?
In the United States, spring allergies can start as early as February and will typically last until June. Making the months of March, April, May, and June the peak for having symptoms. The main two culprits for spring allergies are tree pollen and grass pollen. Below is a month-to-month breakdown of when these two allergens are at their peak.
Allergies in the month of March are usually heavily ruled by tree pollen. In some instances, grass pollen can be a culprit if spring comes early to your area.
April is usually the month when allergies symptoms are at their peak due to tree pollen especially flowering trees.
Once the calendar flips to May, tree pollen dips slightly. However, grass pollen gets ramped up in full force which creates a doubling of symptoms to both of these allergens. Some weeds also start pollinating during May, though the worst of the weed pollens starts as early as June.
Towards the end of the spring season, tree pollen is at its lowest. However, in June, grass pollen will be at its highest, making this month the peak for these allergy symptoms. Weed pollens are beginning to create symptoms for allergy sufferers.
What are the main culprits for Spring Allergies?
Although specific seasonal allergens differ by location and intensity, tree and grass pollens are almost universal during the spring. Let’s learn a little more about these two major allergy-causing culprits, plus a few others that you should be on the lookout for.
Tree and Grass Pollen
While some areas of the country are native to trees that start pollinating in the early winter months, most tree pollen is at its peak intensity during the months of March and April. The most common allergy-triggering trees in the St. Louis, Missouri area are bradford pear, cedar, juniper, magnolia, mulberry, pine, poplar, and willow. Their small and powdery pollen grains are easily spread by the wind.
Grass pollen on occasion begins to show itself if spring beings early in March and April. However, grass pollens ramp up in intensity in May and by June grass pollen is at its peak. The main allergy-causing types of grass in the St. Louis area are johnson, rye, timothy, zoysia, and bermuda. Similar to tree pollen, grasses produce powdery pollen grains which are easily dispersed into the air. Weeds primarily pollinate in the summer, not spring, months.
Many people mistake a sensitivity to the fragrance of flowers as an allergy to flower pollens. Fragrance allergies or sensitivities are common. Flower pollen allergies are much less common. Flowering plants have been hybridized for hardiness and beauty. That process seems to have lessened their pollen concentrations and thus made them less allergenic than their wildflower cousins. If you are sensitive to or irritated by flower fragrances it may not be due to the pollens, but to their odor. However, the flowering plants that have the most allergenic pollens are asters, dahlia, daisies, chamomile, chrysanthemums, sunflowers, amaranth (which are actually weeds), lavender, and lillies.
Often overlooked as an allergen in the spring, mold can cause some serious allergy symptoms. Mold can be found outside on rotting wood, compost piles, grasses, mulch, mud, and anything that is damp or wet. This allergen can even find a way into your homes in dark and damp places such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. Mold spores are what cause allergy symptoms, and these particles can be easily transferred through the air on windy days.
Warmer weather brings everyone out of the house to enjoy some fresh air. However, warm weather also means the return of insects who are just waiting to get some bites and stings on people this spring. Allergy symptoms from insect bites and stings differ from the allergens mentioned above. Insect bites cause annoying symptoms like itchy skin, redness, and swelling. Some people are highly allergic to certain insect venom. If bitten, those individuals are at risk for anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal allergic reaction triggering swollen lips and tongues, shortness of breath, and in severe cases inability to swallow or breathe.
The most common Spring Allergy symptoms
All the allergens mentioned above can cause different reactions and symptoms in different people. The most common symptoms are:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Itchy or watery eyes
- Skin irritation
- Skin redness or swelling
How you can manage Spring Allergies
When it comes to managing and relieving your spring allergies, there are some very important steps you can take each day. While these steps may not block all allergy symptoms, the tips will go a long way in reducing the suffering spring allergens cause.
Always be prepared each day
Staying up to date on the weather and allergy forecast by the week and each day is a very important first step to managing symptoms. Dry and windy weather means pollen counts will be high that day as they can be easily transferred with the wind. Knowing the weather forecast will help you prepare for the insanity of allergens each day before going outside.
Staying out of the way of outside allergens
- If possible, don’t do activities outside in the early morning.
- If you do go outside for activities like yard work, gardening, walks, or sports, wear protective clothing. Hats, gloves, and masks will help prevent contact with allergens. This may seem extreme, but if you have extreme allergic reactions, it is a sensible measure.
- Always be sure to take a shower and wash your clothes after doing outdoor activities.
- At night, make sure you shut all windows and doors to prevent pollen to enter your home.
A clean house means an allergen-free house
- Vacuum 1-2 times per week. For better results use a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
- Be sure your home’s HVAC systems are cleaned out and use a HEPA filter.
- Use a dehumidifier in different rooms around the house to keep the air dry.
See a Holistic Allergist
For the best results, seeing a holistic allergist will get you feeling your best and help you enjoy these spring months ahead. Not only can a holistic allergist help quickly relieve allergy symptoms in the present, but they also help with your long-term relief. As an added benefit, there are no shots and no medications, and no need to avoid activities.
A holistic allergist can diagnose and treat your allergies without using shots, pills, pain, or avoidance. Just remember, all physicians cite lack of compliance as a significant reason why so many patients have difficulty healing, or in this case, getting rid of their allergy symptoms. That means, that once your symptoms start to disappear, it is not the time to stop your treatments. Being consistent and completing the treatment plan from your holistic allergist will ensure you are prepared and ready for next season’s surge in mold and pollen counts.
St. Louis Allergy Relief Center is here to help
If you suffer from allergies and have been unsuccessful with allergy treatments or are looking for something different, St. Louis Allergy Relief Center treats allergies holistically without the use of pain or pills. We are an allergy wellness center specializing in natural treatments using Advanced Allergy Therapeutics (AAT). After completing a comprehensive assessment, we provide you with a detailed evaluation and treatment plan to help with the seasonal, food, environmental, and chemical stressors that may be triggering allergies or allergy-like symptoms. Visit our website stlouisallergyrelief.com to learn more or call us at 314-384-9304.