Spring is finally here! After a long cold winter, it’s delightful to finally open up those windows, take a deep breath of fresh air… and start to sneeze. Well, the sneezing part isn’t very enjoyable. But there’s no denying the reality: allergy season is upon us.
In any given year, allergy season generally goes from March to October. Does that mean you’ve got nine months of runny noses and itchy eyes to look forward to? Well, maybe not. There are a couple of ways that you may be able to look forward to some relief this year.
Seasonal allergies – what are they?
When we think about “allergy season,” it’s normally in reference to, well, seasonal allergies. But let’s back up and understand what causes allergies in order to better comprehend what seasonal allergies are. In general, an allergic reaction occurs when your body mistakes a harmless substance for something hazardous and triggers your immune system in an attempt to protect you.
This leads to a number of symptoms, though the most common are those “cold-like” symptoms we often link to seasonal allergies: sneezing, runny noses, coughing, itchy eyes, and so on. More serious issues, like inflammation, difficulty breathing, or even more serious issues could also be experienced depending on the allergen.
The human body, obviously, has no limit to what it might be allergic to. But it’s rather common for individuals to be allergic to outdoor particulates, such as pollen or mold spores. The expression “seasonal allergies” relates to these pollens and spores that usually show up and trigger symptoms on a seasonal basis (such as spring for example).
Planning the 2022 allergy season
So what can you expect for the 2022 allergy season? The easiest way to create realistic expectations might be to look at the year on a monthly basis.
In April, it’s normally the trees outside your window that are responsible for your sneezing and coughing. This might come as a surprise to some because most people don’t view trees as especially offensive. But do generate pollen.
If the first few weeks of spring are especially challenging, you might be allergic to maple or ash trees which start to pollinate in April. Generally, the best way to manage your symptoms during this time is to track the daily pollen count (normally you can find this on any weather app or the local news) and stay in when the count gets too high.
May and June allergies
The next group of allergenic plants normally begin flowering in May and June. Typically, these pollens are made by flowers and grasses. These pollens are widespread and potent, mainly due to the amount of rain that falls in April, May and June. Meaning that if you’re allergic to these green grasses and flowering plants, May and June will probably produce prolonged symptoms.
Normally, these pollens reach their peak near the early afternoon, so if you’re symptomatic and have to go outdoors to do some yard work, plan to do so during the morning or evening hours.
In July, you may get some respite
July has a tendency to be one of the drier months. This means you might actually experience a rest from allergy symptoms. Of course, this will vary from year to year and depends significantly on local weather patterns. This means that July will probably be the best time to organize that family gathering.
Allergies in August through October
Don’t allow July to lull you into a false sense of security. Because ragweed peaks in August. Also known as “hay fever,” ragweed allergies are incredibly common.
And the worst part, ragweed lasts a while. This allergen sticks around sometimes into October. Naturally, ragweed isn’t the only allergen that sticks around until the ground freezes. During this time of the year mold spores are also quite active.
Dealing with seasonal allergies
It can be a challenge to manage seasonal allergies. You can attempt to figure out what allergens are activating your symptoms by taking note of when they manifest. But you might have to call us for a consultation to really figure out the source of your allergies.
Still, you can decide how to plan your year by learning what time of the year certain allergies peak. That’s true for the 2022 allergy season and it will still be true for the 2023 allergy season. You can expect a little bit of fluctuation from year to year (in general, allergy seasons seem like they’re getting longer and more extreme all the time), but keep track of your local and regional weather conditions, too.
Just because you deal with seasonal allergies doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate the great outdoors. But an antihistamine and a bit of planning will go a long way.