The Typical Outdoor Allergy Season

by aboutyourallergies

The typical outdoor allergy season runs from early spring to late fall. Even though the allergens will vary from one season to the next, the symptoms will be largely the same.

Those common outdoor allergens like pollen, mold spores, and ragweed affect a majority of people in the United States today. Having an awareness of these allergens as well as a basic plan should you experience problems can go a long way toward remaining mainly symptom free.

Here we will outline the typical seasons that outdoor allergens will really be flying around. This will hopefully help you prepare ahead of time so you can enjoy the outdoors without being overly affected by those troublesome symptoms.

It Starts Early In The Year

When it comes to outdoor allergies there are only certain times of the year when you will experience those troubling symptoms. Sure, those indoor allergens like dust mites and pet dander can bother you year round but for the most part you won't have any problems outdoors once the snow starts flying. The cold weather puts a halt to any growth from the trees, shrubs, and flowers which turns off their production of the common culprit of pollen.

Early spring is when allergy season starts in most parts of the continental United States. Once the buds start to bloom, the weeds and grass will really take off. Combine this with the early growth from trees and you will have a tremendous increase in pollen counts. Allergy sufferers will start to experience those telltale signs: sneezing, itchy eyes, and coughing. This will likely continue for many months though each season will have different allergens causing the problems.

Things That Can Help You In The Springtime

Many people plant flowers and begin their yard work as soon as the warm weather hits. If you have seasonal allergies you can pre-treat your symptoms before you start your outdoor work. An over the counter antihistamine can do wonders on those troubling symptoms before they even show up. Allergy eyedrops can also keep your eyes from turning red and becoming itchy. Once you start stirring up the soil you will also be stirring up pollen as well as mold spores that tend to grow in this damp weather.

Another thing you can do if you have been outdoors when pollen counts are high is to wash your hair and clothes as soon as you come inside. Don't let this allergen linger on your body for any longer than you have to. Also, use a quality HEPA vacuum cleaner a couple times per week to take care of any microscopic organisms that can trigger a reaction. Dust mites, mold spores, and of course pet dander can hide out in your carpet fibers. Today's vacuums are great at removing them from your home.

Reducing Your Exposure

Summer Is Not The End Of Your Allergy Problems

Most people think that outdoor allergies are only a problem during the spring and fall but the summer can present some different problems. The weather is hot and dry which can cause a lot of the vegetation to die and the grass growth to slow dramatically. However, the temperatures and humidity go way up which can cause mold and fungus to grow.

Additionally, any pollen that is still around is more apt to travel freely via the wind as it is dried out from the lack of rain. You will sometimes notice small yellow particles all over everything. The symptoms tend to be different from the spring allergies. You will likely experience more nasal congestion and extra mucus as opposed to the classic itchy eyes and sneezing. Some people even think they have caught a cold but most of the times this is not the case. It is usually an allergen that is giving them problems.

How To Find Relief In The Summer

Again, there are some over the counter medications that can help but you shouldn't take them non-stop all year. You can try wearing a dust mask if you are going to be mowing the yard or doing any raking in the summer. Keep your windows closed when the pollen counts are high and keep your air conditioner filter clean at all times. Avoid any grain or corn crops if you can, but if you are a farmer consider wearing the mask as much as you can when outside. Ample sleep is another necessity since your body will be fighting these foreign invaders much of the day. If you get a lot of sleep your body will have a stronger immune system to handle it.

If you are unsure about your allergies then you should talk to your doctor or allergist. You can be tested for specific allergens but many times your symptoms and the time of year will alert them as to the problem. Also pay attention to the certain allergen 'counts'. These include pollen, ragweed, tree, and grass growth.

Problems Continue In The Fall

Even though the trees and flowers are no longer growing in the fall there are still allergens to be concerned with. While the pollen and mold counts will be lower, ragweed tends to go way up as soon as the leaves start to change. The symptoms are all the same and a vast majority of people who are allergic to the usual pollen plants are also allergic to ragweed. It has the ability to travel for long distances in the wind so you will be susceptible even if it isn't growing on or around your property.

To help cut down on your symptoms pay attention to the local ragweed counts. If they are high then you should spend less time outdoors. Also, before turning your heat on for the first time you should make sure your filter is clean and ready to go. If your ducts haven't been cleaned in a while then you should consider doing this as well. This will eliminate many of the indoor allergens from your home.

It's obvious to any allergy sufferer that the season spans most of the calendar year. While there are different types of allergens to be concerned with at different times of the year, the reactions will be pretty similar. With a little planning though you can dramatically cutdown on the problems you will have.

Other Helpful Resources

Learn More About Hay Fever
Here is more information on our site about hay fever and what you can do to find relief should you need it.

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
This site has a lot of information about allergies and asthma. It's a great resource to learn about the many things that people are allergic too.

Allergy UK
For those individuals living in the UK here is a great resource.

Updated: 03/31/2012, aboutyourallergies
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