Whether the weather is warm or not, allergy season is fast approaching, and for many, it’s already here.
There are lots of factors that can affect the severity of an allergy season. The weather throughout the rest of the year, especially during the winter, can have a major impact on the production of allergens.
How Does Winter Affect Allergy Season?
“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.
This winter has been the mildest one on record in the contiguous U.S., according to The Weather Channel, meaning plants have already begun to pollinate and allergies have started for many.
On the flip side, long winters can also impact allergy season, because when trees bloom later, they tend to release pollen in a sudden influx. Accuweather predicts this will be the case for the Midwest and Northeast.
Which Pollens Are in the Air?
Tree pollen is the first allergen of spring; it typically begins at the end of February/early March and lasts through the end of June, with peak pollen counts during May. Grass pollens become active in the late spring/early summer, and weed pollen is at its worst in the fall.
Climate change affects the seasons, and therefore allergy season, and pollen levels appear to be rising worldwide.
How Can I Prevent Allergens from Entering My Home?
The best way to prevent allergies is to keep your home allergen-free. Some strategies include:
- Limiting outdoor exposure during times of high pollen counts.
- Installing quality HEPA filters.
- Cleaning your home and washing bedding often. (Be sure to use the dryer and not hang your sheets outdoors.)
- Change clothes after spending time outside.
If you’re experiencing allergy symptoms, an expert ENT can help you find long-term relief. Contact Hampton Roads ENT today.