Oak trees release their pollen in late winter and spring, blanketing our homes, vehicles, pets, and everything else in their path with a coating of yellow, dust-like particles and causing very serious reactions among allergy sufferers. People who are allergic to oak pollen may experience symptoms that include sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy nose and throat, dark circles under the eyes, coughing, postnasal drip, and swollen, watery and itchy eyes.
Oak tree pollen is prevalent from February through May.
Oak tree pollen is a common allergen that affects millions of people around the world. It is produced by the male flowers of oak trees, which are the green or brown dangly things (called Catkins) that cover people’s cars in the spring. Pollen is released into the air primarily during the spring and summer months. For many allergy sufferers, this time of year can be particularly challenging as they struggle to manage their symptoms.
Oak trees are widely distributed throughout the world, and there are over 500 different species. In North America, the most common species include the white oak, red oak, and black oak, and they can be found in almost every state. In general, oak trees are most prevalent in the eastern and central regions of the United States, including the Appalachian Mountains, the Mississippi River Valley, and the Great Lakes region.
The following states are known to have a particularly high density of oak trees:
The pollen from these trees is small and light, making it easily airborne and able to travel long distances. This is why even people who live far away from oak trees can still be affected by their pollen.
When oak tree pollen is inhaled by someone who is allergic to it, the immune system responds by producing histamine, a chemical that causes inflammation in the nasal passages, eyes, and throat. This can lead to symptoms such as sneezing, itching, runny nose, congestion, and watery eyes. In severe cases, asthma attacks may also occur.
If you suspect that you are allergic to Oak or other tree pollen, we strongly suggest coming in for an allergy test!