The Most Common Seasonal Allergies throughout the Year
Did you know that over 35 million Americans are affected by seasonal allergies? Here’s a list of the most common seasonal allergies and what you can do to prevent and treat them.
The primary early summer allergen is grass pollen and things like temperature, time of day and rainfall can affect the amount of grass pollen in the air. By mid-July however, the main allergens are fungal spores and mold.
Ragweed, goldenrod, sagebrush and mold a few of the most common outdoor fall allergens. Because all of these allergens are airborne, allergy sufferers are particularly vulnerable during windy days. In addition, pollen is usually released in the morning so people with particularly severe allergies should avoid outdoor activities during the morning hours.
During the winter months, you’ll be more likely to spend time indoors and be affected by household allergens like dust, dust mites, pet dander and indoor mold. In addition to indoor allergy flare-ups during the winter months, you can also experience outdoor allergies due to tree pollen, especially from elm, walnut, and sycamore trees.
Spring allergy sufferers are affected by pollen from flowers, grass, weeds, and trees. Undoubtedly, spring is the most notorious season regarding allergens and causing allergic reactions.
Seasonal allergy symptoms may include:
- Runny nose
- Red itchy eyes
- Nasal congestion
- Sinus pain and pressure
- Sore throat
- Post nasal drip
How to Prevent and Treat Seasonal Allergies
- Wear a face mask when doing yard work.
- Keep your windows closed and change or clean your air conditioner filters.
- If you’ve been outdoors for a while, be sure to bathe and wash your hair thoroughly to remove all pollen from your person.
- Have your gutters cleaned regularly as mold can form on the decaying leaves and debris.
- Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter and vacuum your home often.
- Use dust- and dust mite-proof covers on your mattress and pillows.
- Wash your bedding regularly in hot water.
- Maintain a humidity of 55% in your household.
- Keep pets off the furniture.
Spring and Summer
- Change your clothes once you get home so you are not wearing clothes covered in pollen.
- Use HEPA filters on your air conditioners and change them regularly.
- Never water your grass at night because it can cause fungal spores and mold to form.
- Remove all damp leaves and debris from your yard.
- Don’t keep your compost pile in the shade.
- Dry your clothes in the dryer, not outdoors on a clothesline.
- Try to avoid/limit going out between 5 a.m. to 10 a.m.
- Exercise indoors.
- Use the air conditioning in the car and keep your car windows rolled up.
- Leave your shoes at the door to avoid tracking pollen into the house.
- Wear protective eyewear such as sunglasses when you spend long periods outdoors to protect your eyes from getting irritated by pollen.
All seasonal allergies can be treated with both over-the-counter and prescription medications such as antihistamines. It’s best to discuss with your doctor which one will work best for you. No matter what seasonal allergy you have, it’s always best to start taking your medication before the pollen count peaks to avoid severe reactions. Nasal sprays and eye drops can also help soothe allergic reactions.
It’s also best to stay properly hydrated as that this can break up the nasal and chest congestion that may result from seasonal allergies.
You should also talk to your doctor about getting allergy shots in order to reduce your allergy symptoms. Watch the local weather to stay on top of what the pollen and mold count is in your area and try to stay in on days that it is high. If you experience seasonal allergy symptoms, but are unsure what allergen you are allergic to, it is important to visit your doctor to be properly diagnosed. Once you know what allergic trigger is responsible for your symptoms, you’ll be able to better prevent and treat your allergic reaction.
Now that you know what the most common seasonal allergies throughout the year are, be sure to seek medical assistance in determining if you are affected by any of these. If you have any further questions about identifying, preventing and treating seasonal allergies, reach out to Dr. Mayank Shukla and he’ll be happy to help you with any of your concerns.