Allergy Be Gone Newsletter - April, 2006
Spring Allergies and How to Avoid Them
What better way is there, than to spend a beautiful spring day enjoying the weather. For most people it is a pleasure, however for allergy sufferers, it can be very hard to enjoy themselves. But, if the right precautions are taken, there is no reason why even the worst allergy sufferer has to miss out on outdoor fun.
This is one of the most common causes for spring allergies. The average pollen particle is less than the width of an average human hair. Many trees, grasses and low-growing weeds have small, light, dry pollen that usually trigger allergy symptoms.
Plants usually emmit pollen starting from early spring and ending in late summer. In warmer climates this may start as early as February and end as late as November. In cooler areas, the allergy season may last only from March to June. The exact period of the allergy season in your area also depends on which plants are prevalent there, since different plants pollinate at different times.
Mold spores float in the air like pollen, and are present throughout the year. Unlike pollen, mold does not have a specific season, but is affected by weather conditions such as wind, rain, humidity or temperature. Outdoor mold spores begin to appear after the melting of the snow in spring, and reach their peak in July in warmer states and October in colder states.
Mold can be present almost anywhere, including your home - in attics, basements, bathrooms, refrigerators and other food storage areas, garbage containers, carpets and upholstery.
Effects of Weather and Location
Allergy symptoms are often minimal on days that are rainy, cloudy or windless, because pollen does not move about during these conditions. Hot, dry and windy weather signals greater pollen and mold distribution and thus, increased allergy symptoms.
If you are allergic to plants in your area, you may believe that moving to another area of the country with different plants will help. However, within a year or two you may find that you have acquired allergies to new plants prevalent in the area. Therefore, moving to another part of the country to escape allergies is often ultimately disappointing (not to mention - very expensive!), and is not recommended.
Appropriate treatment is the best method for coping with your allergies. See your allergist or immunologist, who will take a thorough history and conduct tests to determine exactly which pollens or molds are triggering your symptoms. He or she will help you determine when these airborne allergens are most prevalent in your area and the best way to cope with them.
To find an allergist near you, you can use our Allergy Doctors Directory.
Keeping Safe During the Allergy Season - Do's and Don'ts
For more information on coping with spring allergies, you can visit our Allergy and Asthma Education page, or call one of our Allergy Experts toll free at 1-866-234-6630, Monday through Friday, between 10 am and 4 pm EST.