Seasonal Allergy Guide

When people think of seasonal allergies, they often mention pollen. While pollen is a major culprit of allergies, you can experience allergies year-round. Each season comes with its unique allergens. Follow the guide below to see which months you can expect to see a flare-up of which allergens. 

Spring Allergies

During the months of February through May, we experience some of the best weather in most parts of the country. However, this weather comes with the pollination of trees. Tree pollen is the major allergen in spring and affects millions of Americans. Common trees in the New York region that contribute to allergy symptoms include oak, birch, and maple. Birch tree pollen is one of the most common allergies in the spring. They can produce up to 5 million grains of pollen that can travel over 100 yards away from their tree. Oak pollen is considered to be less allergenic compared to other tree pollen, but it can also stay in the air for longer periods of time giving it more time to inflict symptoms.

If you experience increased sneezing, itching, and wheezing during spring, you’re likely allergic to specific tree pollen. Our NYC allergists are specially trained to test patients for allergies to multiple types of tree pollen and treat each patient uniquely. We recommend you request an allergy appointment in late winter to begin treatment for your spring allergies.

Summer Allergies

Summer allergies mainly involve grass pollen from late May to July. Grass pollens like Bermuda, oat, and rye are in full effect in June and can be affected by environmental changes, such as temperature and rainfall. Grass allergy symptoms can be some of the most persistent and difficult to treat, but allergy shots and medications are helpful.

Insect allergies are also a concern during the summer. Insect stings or bites can cause severe allergy symptoms such as anaphylaxis. If you are allergic to insect stings, venom immunotherapy can help lessen the severity of your condition. Talk to our allergists to learn more about this treatment.

Fall Allergies

Grass and tree pollen allergies usually subside by August just in time for ragweed pollen to emerge. August 15 is usually referred to amongst allergists as the start of ragweed season. Other common weed plants that produce pollen allergens include English plantain, lamb’s quarter, pigweed, Russian thistle, yellow dock, sorrel, firebush, cocklebur, and marsh elder. If you’re allergic to ragweed, you’ll likely experience symptoms until November. 

Along with ragweed, mold spore counts begin to rise dramatically in the fall with falling leaves and dying plants. Molds thrive in decomposing plant matter and their spores float into the air causing sneezing and wheezing. Gardening in mulch or dirt can also increase exposure to mold spores this time of year. 

Winter Allergies

By the end of the year, most people feel relief from allergy symptoms. However, for individuals with pet allergies, you may experience more symptoms as people begin to keep their animals indoors. The good news is, allergy shots can significantly improve pet allergies. 

Also, if you plan on buying real Christmas trees for the holidays, remember that they can also make you wheeze and sneeze. It’s likely not the tree itself that triggers allergies but the microscopic mold spores that can harbor in its branches. If you can’t resist buying a live tree, shake it out to try to get rid of any spores prior to putting it in your home. 
If you have seasonal allergies, the allergists at the NY Allergy & Sinus Centers are here to help. We provide allergy testing and treatment to help you get fast relief. Call us today at 212-686-6321 or book an appointment online to get the best allergy treatment in New York City!