February 1, 2023
What Are The Top Allergens in February Across the Country?
It’s February and although we’re still in the middle of winter, allergy season is just around the corner. With allergy season approaching, it’s time to start keeping a weekly watch on the pollen levels in your area. Let’s talk more about what allergies you could be facing right now.
February Allergies in the Northern United States
Winter is coming to a close, but it's not quite over yet for the north. We're still seeing frosts that's keeping any outdoor plant growth and pollination at bay. In areas like Colorado, we’re still seeing temperatures near freezing and no signs of spring. This means plants aren’t growing or pollinating, and that means less pollen in the air—but it also means more time spent indoors, which leaves you more exposed to indoor allergens like mold, pet dander, and dust mites.
Top February allergens:
- Pet dander
February Allergies in the Southern United States
When it comes to allergies in the south, the recent high winds and mild weather are causing some of our patients to experience an earlier arrival of cedar season, as well as an earlier spring tree pollen season, as Elm pollen rates begin to skyrocket. Even though there is technically one more month of winter, we’re experiencing record-breaking high temperatures this year, especially in states like Texas and Florida, causing plants to pollinate even earlier than last year. This will continue to wreak havoc on our allergies here in the south.
Top February allergens:
- Mountain Cedar (Juniper)
Allergens in the Eastern United States
The last hurrah of winter has come through the East. Through this last cold front, we expect more time spent indoors meaning more exposure to allergens such as mold, pet dander, and dust. These are considered perennial allergens because they are allergens that survive and keep you sneezing all year long, regardless of the season! Meanwhile, outdoor allergens are slowly but surely increasing as we prepare for the upcoming spring tree pollen season.
Top February allergens:
- Dust Mites
- Pet Dander
February Allergies in the Western United States
Don’t forget your umbrella! With the unexpected torrential downpour the west has been facing, allergens have stirred up quite a bit.This means high Juniper and Elm pollen counts, as well as high mold counts due to the unexpected rainfall, it's caused a lot of flooding and standing water, resulting in high levels of mold. Although there is less rainfall in New Mexico and Arizona, the Juniper season remains severe.If you’re further northwest, you might be experiencing more indoor allergens like dust, which are most likely responsible for your bad symptoms.
Top February allergens:
Top December Allergies Across the Country:
Juniper trees are a popular choice for landscaping and gardens. Their berries can be used in cooking, but the pollen produced by their flowers causes allergies in many people. Juniper pollen, which can be released in large quantities by the trees each spring, is small enough to become airborne and spread over long distances, so even if you live far from a state where the plants grow naturally, Juniper pollen could still cause allergic symptoms. When choosing Juniper trees as part of your landscaping plan, keep this in mind.
Pollen can attach itself to anything it touches, including your hair, clothing, bedding, and furniture. It will eventually find its way into your lungs if you don't take precautions against exposure. Because of its chemical structure, Juniper pollen can cause allergic reactions in people who are typically not as sensitive to other environmental allergens, making it a severe allergen. If you only experience allergies once a year, and that's at Juniper time, then it probably means that your body is immune to other kinds of pollen, but not this one.
Symptoms of Juniper allergies:
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Allergy headaches
- Sore throat
- Constant sneezing or wheezing
How to prevent Juniper allergy symptoms and reduce Juniper exposure:
- Use a HEPA filter. These filters eliminate any remaining pollen in your home. They’re especially great for areas like your bedroom, purifying the air so you can get a better sleep.
- Vacuum and dust regularly. Make sure to dust first and then vacuum to pick up all the fallen and kicked up dust.
- Wash your hair. Juniper pollen is so small and will stick to anything, so it’s important to wash your hair after coming in from outdoors.
Juniper allergy treatments:
- Now is the time to get ahead of your Juniper allergy because severe symptoms can develop over time. Allergy shots (immunotherapy) are a great way to begin treating cedar allergies.These shots are given at regular intervals, usually every two weeks. They slowly increase the body's tolerance to allergens by exposing it to small amounts of each allergen over time.
- Allergy drops work in the same way as allergy shots, by gradually increasing your tolerance to the allergen, but they're also portable and painless!
- If you're tired of suffering from the harsh symptoms of Juniper pollen, our ExACT Immunoplasty treatment is just as effective as three years' worth of allergy shots—but with just three injections over eight weeks.
Elm trees can be very difficult to avoid. The 35 different species of Elm trees cause a large amount of pollen to be produced, which is why this wind-pollinated tree can travel miles and has a significant impact on sensitive allergy sufferers. With an estimated 20 million people in the United States suffering from allergies, it’s important that your home be as clean as possible to ensure you’re not affected by dirty air. That’s why we created our free allergy calendar: so you can quickly find out what allergens will affect each season in your area. Check out our free allergy calendar today and start living confidently!
Elm Allergy Symptoms:
If you experience these symptoms, it could be due to an Elm allergy. However, seasonal allergies often look the same, so it might be in your best interest to get an allergy test to know exactly what you're allergic to.
- Itchy or watery eyes
- Post-nasal drip
- Coughing or wheezing
Elm Allergy Prevention:
- Wash your clothes immediately after coming inside. Elm pollen can stick to any surface. If you’ve been outdoors, especially on a windy day, there’s a good chance you have pollen stuck to your clothes.
- Keep your windows closed. It’s better to run the air conditioning instead of opening windows during allergy season. This goes for your car as well.
- Check your local pollen count. Keep in mind that pollen levels are usually highest from early morning to mid-afternoon, so try to plan your day accordingly on high pollen level days.
Elm Allergy Treatments:
- If you experience symptoms such as rashes, hives, or trouble breathing, take an antihistamine.
- If you’re looking for long-term allergy relief, immunotherapy—also known as allergy shots—is a great way to go. Allergy shots are administered by an allergist in the clinic. You receive injections every week or bi-weekly until your body is able to tolerate the allergen without an allergic reaction. The goal is complete tolerance!
- Allergy drops work like allergy shots, gradually exposing the body to an allergen under the tongue. This treatment is great for those who want an easy way to manage their allergies but don't have time for frequent office visits.
- Our ExACT Immunoplasty treatment is a convenient alternative to allergy shots. This revolutionary new treatment requires just three shots over the span of eight weeks! Studies have shown that our ExACT treatments effectiveness is comparable to three years' worth of traditional allergy shots!
While mold is typically a perennial issue, mold counts are on the rise as we continue to see heavier rainfalls across the country. Mold can be a tricky allergen due to the fact that it can be hidden in our homes. In any area where it might be slightly damp and humid, mold will thrive. This means areas like basements and attics can harbor large amounts of mold spores, dispersing them throughout your home and eventually reaching your lungs. Mold can be a very dangerous allergen if it’s not taken care of. It can grow and spread quickly, and also have severe effects on the body if there’s continued exposure.
Mold Allergy Symptoms:
Some common allergy symptoms you might experience from mold are:
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Scratchy or sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
Mold Allergy Prevention Tips:
- Check dark, humid areas frequently. If your home has an attic or basement, be sure to frequently check on these areas to ensure that there is no mold growth.
- Fix leaky faucets. Any stagnant water can lead to mold growth, this can be found under kitchen or bathroom sinks.
- Throw out any moldy food. If you have food on the counter, make sure it isn't moldy or infested with fruit flies.
Mold Allergy Treatments:
Luckily, mold allergies can be treated! If you’re looking for long-term treatment options, allergy shots, allergy drops, or even our ExACT Immunoplasty treatment will help treat the root cause of your mold allergy, not just mask the symptoms.
If you’re tired of sneezing and itching, tired of avoiding your friends or family because the pollen count is too high, and tired of having to choose between saving money and getting proper treatment then it’s time to see what we can do for you at Aspire Allergy & Sinus. We specialize in allergy diagnosis, treatment and management, from taking care of seasonal allergies to minimizing allergy symptoms year round. Don’t let a few sneezes ruin your life; book an appointment today!