Common Seasonal Allergy Triggers
Spring allergies typically begin in February and last until the early summer. Tree pollination begins earliest in the year followed by grass pollination later in the spring and summer and ragweed in the late summer and fall. Mild winter temperatures can cause plants to pollinate early. A rainy spring can also promote rapid plant growth and lead to an increase in mold, causing symptoms to last well into the fall.
The most common culprit for fall allergies is ragweed, a plant that grows wild almost everywhere, but especially on the East Coast. Ragweed blooms and releases pollen from August to November. In many areas of the country, ragweed pollen levels are highest in early to mid-September.
Symptoms of spring allergies
Symptoms of Spring Allergies Include:
Itchy, Watery Eyes
Itchy Mouth or Throat
Children between the ages of 12-17 are more vulnerable than others to spring allergens. Seasonal allergies can also increase the severity of respiratory symptoms in those who have asthma.
Covid vs. Allergies
how to tell the difference between Covid-19 and spring allergies
Spring allergies are caused by allergens like tree and grass pollen, not by a virus. Spring allergies rarely cause breathing problems, though you may be at risk if you already have respiratory problems- such as asthma.
On the other hand, Covid-19 is caused by a virus and is spread person to person. Symptoms usually occur 2-14 days after exposure to someone infected with the virus. Covid-19 symptoms are different than spring allergy symptoms (loss of taste/smell, dry cough, trouble breathing, fever, fatigue, headache, runny nose or congestion, muscle/body aches, sore throat, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting). If you suspect you have Covid-19, make an appointment for a Covid test.
How to prepare for Allergy season
take extra steps when pollen counts are high
During the spring season, there’s a lot of pollen in the air. Thus, you need to keep track of the pollen count. Keep yourself updated on the current pollen levels and make sure you start taking your allergy medications if the forecasts are high.
Stock up your medicine cabinet
There are several medications that can help you survive the allergy season. Be ready to start your allergy medication as soon as your symptoms begin. You can purchase antihistamines, decongestants, steroidal nasal sprays, and eye drops. All of these medications can be used together or separately to reduce symptoms.
keep the mold out
Humid conditions can significantly contribute to an increased level of allergens. Focus on the areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and any other areas with leaks or moisture. Use a dehumidifier to reduce the dryness in the air. It will help keep your home environment clean and eradicate future allergic reactions.
keep the windows closed
When the weather is finally warm, it sometimes becomes tempting to open our windows and just let the fresh air in. However, this might bring pollen inside your home. Keeping your windows closed can be a lot safer and will prevent allergic reactions.
time your activities appropriately
It is important to know when to go out during the spring season. If you’re allergic to pollen, going out in the afternoon and early evening might be a bad idea. These are the peak pollination times for grasses. As much as possible, go outside after a good rain. The rain helps clear out pollen from the air.
keep indoor air clean
Control the quality of your indoor air by using highly efficient air filters to trap allergens and dust. Cleaning your carpets, rugs, and floor mats with a vacuum cleaner that has a high-efficient particulate air (HEPA) filter may help in removing the hidden dirt and pollen in your carpets.