There are many factors that affect allergy season, and one is winter weather.
“Milder winters are continuing to affect spring allergies. Trees are able to pollinate earlier and for longer periods, extending the allergy season by several weeks,” explained Kenneth Mendez, president and CEO of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
Many experts have said that across the nation, this year’s winter and early spring have been warmer than average, in large part due to rising temperatures worldwide.
When Does Pollen Begin?
The first allergen of spring is typically tree pollen, which begins in the late winter (end of February/early March), and goes until late spring (end of June). Then grass pollens hit in the late spring/early summer, and finally weed pollen takes hold in the fall. Most allergy sufferers report May to be the worst month for allergies due to the overlap of grass pollen peaking while tree pollen is also high.
Preventing Pollen in the Home
While it may not be possible to avoid pollen once you step outside, there are many strategies for limiting pollen inside your home.
- Try to limit outdoor exposure during times when pollen counts are high.
- Install air filters in your home, such as high-efficiency particulate absorbance (HEPA) filters.
- Clean your home regularly. Dusting, vacuuming and washing bedding in hot water is especially important.
- When you spend time outdoors, take a shower and change your clothes as soon as you come back inside.
- Start a daily allergy medication right away, even if you’re not yet experiencing symptoms.
Most people’s allergies can be treated with over-the-counter solutions. OTC oral antihistamines are usually the first line of defense against allergy symptoms, which can be supplemented with steroid nasal sprays and eyedrops found at the drug store.
Unfortunately for many, this is not enough to keep allergy symptoms under control. Charleston ENT & Allergy offers immunotherapy for long-term relief from allergy symptoms.
Immunotherapy can be administered via shots or oral drops. It works by exposing your immune system to small amounts of allergens so that your body builds up a tolerance over time. Immunotherapy requires three to five years of commitment.
For more information about allergy solutions, schedule an appointment with Charleston ENT & Allergy today!