We’ve all been there — out of nowhere, you start to sneeze uncontrollably. It creeps up out of the blue and you think to yourself: Oh no! Is it allergy season already?
Knowing exactly when allergy season begins can help you prepare to manage your symptoms early, so you don’t have to spend months at a time feeling miserable. In this blog, we’ll answer the question “when is allergy season?” and give you actionable steps to help you prepare for it..
So, when is allergy season anyway? The answer to this question actually depends on your location. Some areas, like Texas and Georgia, will start to notice pollen counts and other allergens earlier than others. There are even some areas of the U.S. that are known for producing little to no allergens at all!
Seasonal allergies occur in the spring, summer and fall. If you suffer from perennial allergies, you will also experience allergies in winter.
Spring allergy season doesn’t always wait until spring officially begins. In some areas of the country, it can begin as early as February! Once the trees begin to start growing their new leaves, they start to release tree pollen into the air. These allergens trigger some people to experience irritating symptoms such as itchy, watery eyes, nasal congestion, coughing and sneezing. Not only that, but other allergens from grasses are also starting to drift in the air, causing even more discomfort.
Even after trees and flowers are in full bloom from the spring season, they still cause those pesky allergy symptoms to flare up. Depending on where you live, summer allergy season typically lasts from early June until mid-September. During these months, grass pollen and mold spores are the most common allergens.
As the air starts to cool, a new set of allergens start to cause irritation in millions of allergy sufferers. Fall allergies tend to be caused by pollens released from weeds, mainly ragweed. Allergies to mold are also more common in the fall as the spores make their way into the air. Fall allergy season tends to begin in late August and last until early September.
During winter, people typically experience symptoms from allergens found within their own home. Dust, dust mites and mold or fungal spores are common triggers during the winter months. Pet allergies also tend to be even more bothersome due to the extra time spent indoors and increased exposure to pet dander.
Preparing for allergy season is the key to making your allergies as bearable as possible. While avoidance is the best way to prevent a reaction, there are some more practical things you can do to get ready for the allergy season.
One of the easiest ways to prepare for allergy season is to track the pollen counts in your area. This way, you will know when to start limiting your time outside. You can find this information on local weather stations, websites and apps. Some sources will even tell you the mold count, too!
The next step is to clean. By cleaning your home frequently, you are clearing your environment of any dust, pollen and mold that has made its way inside. When cleaning, remember to wear a mask. This helps limit the amount of dust and allergens you come in contact with as you lift them into the air. Also, dust with a damp cloth to trap dust particles, rather than releasing them into the air. Vacuum, rather than sweep, to also trap in the dust.
Another way to prepare for allergy season is by changing the air filters in your home. Over time, these filters accumulate so much dust and debris that they no longer function properly. In a home where someone suffers from allergies, these filters should be changed every 20 to 45 days. If you have pets, air filters should be changed even more frequently. Having clean air inside your home makes it easier to manage your allergies.
In order to provide additional support to your HVAC system and air filters, you can use an air purifier. Just like air filters, these machines collect dust and other allergens in the air improving the air quality within your home. These are particularly useful because you can place them in areas of your house where you spend the most time.
In order for most allergy medications to work effectively, it is important to start them before being exposed to allergens. Make sure you have quick access to the medicine you need by keeping it handy within your home. That way, you won’t have to worry about rushing to the pharmacy once you’re already suffering from symptoms!
While over the counter medicines or a clean air filter may give you some relief from allergy season, the best way to eliminate your symptoms is through immunotherapy. Immunotherapy is a form of allergy treatment that desensitizes your body to the allergens that trigger reactions and cause those irritating allergy symptoms. During treatment, you are exposed to a small amount of the allergen your body finds harmful. Over time, your immune system becomes desensitized and no longer reacts when exposed.
While shots and drops are more traditional methods of immunotherapy, there is a new way to get immunotherapy treatment: Transdermal Allergy Cream. This allergy cream is applied directly onto the skin. After about 15 minutes, the allergens are absorbed into the lymphatic system, where your immune system operates. Over the course of your treatment plan, your body’s natural reaction to the allergens will become less severe, helping you take control of your allergies, once and for all.
Allergies may be bothersome, but they are manageable. If you want to learn more about how you can survive allergy season, download our Allergy Survival Guide: Your Toolkit To Surviving Allergy Season. With tons of helpful tips and tricks, it will help you learn what you can do so you don’t suffer this allergy season.