What seasonal allergies are in march
Well, it’s technically *always* allergy season due to year-round offenders such as dust mites, mold, and pet dander, says Purvi Parikh, MD, an allergist and immunologist with Allergy & Asthma Network. But some allergens–pollens, specifically—are seasonal.
Tree pollen, for example, pops up in the spring (generally in tardy March to April), grass pollen arrives in the tardy spring (around May), weed pollen is most prevalent in the summer (July to August), and ragweed pollen takes over from summer to drop (late August to the first frost), says Dr.
And even worse news: Climate change means allergy season begins earlier and lasts longer, adds Corinne Keet, MD, PhD, a professor and allergist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
To get super-specific, Pollen.com has a National Allergy Map that provides an up-to-date allergy forecast in diverse areas around the country and an Allergy Alert app that gives five-day forecasts with in-depth info on specific allergens, helping you decide if you should stay indoors that day.
Certain areas own also seen a particularly large increase in pollen during allergy season.
In 2019, the New York Times reported on the extreme blankets of pollen that hit North Carolina; Georgia and Chicago also faced especially aggressive allergy seasons too.
In Alaska, temperatures are rising so quickly (as in numerous other far northern countries), that the pollen count and season duration are seeing unprecedented growth.
What does that mean for my allergy meds?
When should I start taking them?
There’s no point in waiting until you’re miserable to take allergy meds, especially if you desire to hold up your outdoor workouts.
In fact, allergists recommend you start taking meds a couple weeks before allergy season arrives, or, at the latest, take them the moment you start having symptoms, says Dr. Parikh. Taking them early can stop an immune system freak-out before it happens, lessening the severity of symptoms, he adds. Check out the National Allergy Map to figure out when to start taking meds depending on where you live.
As for which allergy meds to take, if you’re seriously stuffed, start with steroid nasal sprays such as Flonase or Rhinocort, which reduce inflammation-induced stuffiness, says Dr.
And if you’ve got itching, sneezing, and a runny nose, too, glance for non-sedating antihistamines such as Zyrtec, Xyzal, or Allegra, she adds. Just remember: While OTC allergy meds suppress symptoms, they don’t cure the problem, so they may be less effective if your allergies are worsening, notes Dr. Parikh.
How to treat hay fever yourself
There’s currently no cure for hay fever and you cannot prevent it.
But you can do things to ease your symptoms when the pollen count is high.
- put Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen
- wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes
- hold windows and doors shut as much as possible
- shower and change your clothes after you own been exterior to wash pollen off
- stay indoors whenever possible
- vacuum regularly and dust with a damp cloth
- purchase a pollen filter for the air vents in your car and a vacuum cleaner with a special HEPA filter
- do not cut grass or stroll on grass
- do not spend too much time exterior
- do not dry clothes exterior – they can catch pollen
- do not hold unused flowers in the home
- do not smoke or be around smoke – it makes your symptoms worse
- do not let pets into the home if possible – they can carry pollen indoors
Allergy UK has more tips on managing hay fever.
Check if you own hay fever
Symptoms of hay fever include:
- sneezing and coughing
- itchy, red or watery eyes
- a runny or blocked nose
- itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears
- loss of smell
- pain around your temples and forehead
- feeling tired
If you own asthma, you might also:
- have a tight feeling in your chest
- be short of breath
- wheeze and cough
Hay fever will final for weeks or months, unlike a freezing, which generally goes away after 1 to 2 weeks.
What can I do if my allergy meds aren’t working…or my allergies are getting worse?
If you’re already taking OTC allergy meds (and, you know, keeping your windows closed and washing your face and hair after coming inside), allergy shots, a.k.a.
allergen immunotherapy, make your immune system less reactive to allergens (read: pollen), and for some people, they can even induce a cure, says Dr. Parikh.
“By giving little increasing doses of what you are allergic to, you train the immune system to slowly stop being as allergic,” she says. “This is the best way to address allergies, as it targets the underlying problem and builds your immunity to a specific allergen.”
The downside? Allergy shots are a bit of a time commitment.
You’ll need to get them once a week for six to eight months, then once a month for a minimum of two years, says Dr. Parikh. You need to be a little bit patient, too, because it can take about six months to start feeling better (so if you desire protection by March, you’ll probably own to start in September the year before). But a life without allergies? Sounds worth it to me.
Cassie ShortsleeveFreelance WriterCassie Shortsleeve is a skilled freelance author and editor with almost a decade of experience reporting on every things health, fitness, and travel.
Kristin CanningKristin Canning is the health editor at Women’s Health, where she assigns, edits and reports stories on emerging health research and technology, women’s health conditions, psychology, mental health, wellness entrepreneurs, and the intersection of health and culture for both print and digital.
It’s a excellent thought to hold an eye on the predicted pollen counts, particularly if you plan to be outdoors for a endless period of time.
(If you are planning to be exterior working around plants or cutting grass, a dust mask can help.)
But even if you see a high pollen count predicted in the newspaper, on a smartphone app or on TV, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be affected. There are numerous types of pollen — from diverse kinds of trees, from grass and from a variety of weeds. As a result, a high overall pollen count doesn’t always indicate a strong concentration of the specific pollen to which you’re allergic.
The opposite can be true, too: The pollen count might be low, but you might discover yourself around one of the pollens that triggers your allergies.
Through testing, an allergist can pinpoint which pollens bring on your symptoms.
An allergist can also assist you discover relief by determining which medications will work best for your set of triggers.
This sheet was reviewed for accuracy 4/23/2018.
If you feel love you’re always getting ill, with a cough or head congestion, it’s time to see an allergist. You may ponder you’re certain pollen is causing your suffering, but other substances may be involved as well. More than two-thirds of spring allergy sufferers actually own year-round symptoms. Your best resource for finding what’s causing your suffering and stopping it, not just treating the symptoms, is an allergist.
Work together with your allergist to devise strategies to avoid your triggers:
- Monitor pollen and mold counts.
Weather reports in newspapers and on radio and television often include this information during allergy seasons.
- Keep windows and doors shut at home and in your car during allergy season.
- Take a shower, wash your hair and change your clothes after you’ve been working or playing outdoors.
- To avoid pollen, know which pollens you are sensitive to and then check pollen counts. In spring and summer, during tree and grass pollen season, levels are highest in the evening. In tardy summer and early drop, during ragweed pollen season, levels are highest in the morning.
- Wear a NIOSH-rated 95 filter mask when mowing the lawn or doing other chores outdoors, and take appropriate medication beforehand.
Our allergist’s treatment has unquestionably resulted in a better quality of life for Kealab.
Your allergist may also recommend one or more medications to control symptoms.
Some of the most widely recommended drugs are available without a prescription (over the counter); others, including some nose drops, require a prescription.
If you own a history of prior seasonal problems, allergists recommend starting medications to alleviate symptoms two weeks before they are expected to begin.
One of the most effective ways to treat seasonal allergies linked to pollen is immunotherapy (allergy shots). These injections expose you over time to gradual increments of your allergen, so you study to tolerate it rather than reacting with sneezing, a stuffy nose or itchy, watery eyes.
Seasonally Related Triggers
While the term “seasonal allergies” generally refers to grass, pollen and mold, there is a diverse group of triggers that are closely tied to specific seasons.
- Smoke (campfires in summer, fireplaces in winter)
- Insect bites and stings (usually in spring and summer)
- Candy ingredients (Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter)
- Chlorine in indoor and outdoor swimming pools
- Pine trees and wreaths (Thanksgiving to Christmas))
Hay fever is generally worse between tardy March and September, especially when it’s warm, humid and windy. This is when the pollen count is at its highest.
A pharmacist can assist with hay fever
Speak to your pharmacist if you own hay fever.
They can give advice and propose the best treatments, love antihistamine drops, tablets or nasal sprays to assist with:
- itchy and watery eyes and sneezing
- a blocked nose
Find a pharmacy
Non-urgent advice: See a GP if:
- your symptoms are getting worse
- your symptoms do not improve after taking medicines from the pharmacy