August 23, 2021
Everything You Need to Know About Allergies in Phoenix
Allergies bothering you in Phoenix? It’s a common misconception that allergies don’t exist in Arizona because of the dry heat and desert landscape, but that’s far from true. There are several aspects that make Arizona an allergy hot spot, and we’ve compiled some tips to keep you prepared.
When is allergy season in Phoenix?
Pollen, dust, and pollution can be found in the Valley any time of the year, but we don't want it to ruin your day. Knowing what you may be allergic to can help you better manage them.
In Arizona, allergy symptoms are the most problematic in the spring, when trees, plants, weeds and grass come back to life after the winter. At one-point allergists used to recommend that their patients move to the desert to escape allergy symptoms, but with many non-native trees and plants being introduced to the desert landscape, that recommendation is occurring less and less.
Allergies in Phoenix and surrounding areas also tend to have another peak in the late summer months of August and September when certain weeds and shrubs are thriving.
How Does the Dry Weather Affect Allergy Symptoms in Phoenix?
Dry and breezy climates can be the perfect conditions for spreading pollen – and it can spread for miles. Rain can wash allergens out of the air and tamp down anything flying around, but typically that relief is short lived. Once the rain seeps down into the earth, vegetation will start to grow and repeat the process all over again.
What Are the Most Common Allergens in Phoenix?
Like many regions where allergies are the problem, the most common allergy irritants are trees, weeds and grasses.
Common Tree Allergies in Phoenix
Ash – These trees are commonly used in Phoenix landscaping and are very active pollinators in the spring.
Mesquite & Mulberry – These deciduous trees have played a large part in the rise in pollen counts in the Valley over the past 30 years. They produce a large amount of pollen in March and April, making them a significant contributor to Phoenix allergies overall.
Cottonwood – Cottonwood tree allergies are fairly common in the area and those who suffer tend to have severe reactions. There are studies that have shown cross-reactivity of cottonwood and willow, meaning someone who suffers from a cottonwood tree allergy may also be allergic to willow trees. Cottonwood trees peak a little earlier than other trees, with peak season coming in February.
Juniper – Juniper trees, also known as mountain cedar, are a common source of allergies in the Phoenix region and tend to cause problems in the winter months.
Common Weed and Shrub Allergies in Phoenix
Careless Weed – A flowering plant that is often mistaken for pigweed, careless weed is not native to Arizona, but can be found along the sides of roads and covering open fields. Careless weed pollinates May through November, with the peak season being August and September.
Ragweed – A perennial weed, ragweed is arguably the most common allergen that is known to have two peak seasons, one in the spring and one in the fall.
Russian Thistle is a type of tumbleweed that many are sensitive to in the Phoenix region. Contact with Russian thistle can lead to skin rashes and other more typical allergy symptoms like itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, congestion, and runny nose. Russian thistle pollinates May through November, with the peak season being September and October.
Common Grass Allergies in Phoenix
Bermuda grass – This grass can be found in Phoenix area fields, parks, home lawns, and golf courses. As far as allergies in Phoenix go, this grass is more significant than others because it is extremely allergenic and found in many places.
Johnson grass – This type of grass is less used for landscaping purposes but is commonly found along roadsides, in ditches and in fields.
What Are the Most Common Allergy Symptoms in Phoenix?
In our experience, patients seem to be the most bothered by:
· Congestion or runny nose
· Itchy, red or watery eyes
The problem is that these can often be confused with cold symptoms. The key indicator is if you have been experiencing these symptoms for more than 10 days, it is likely allergies that are causing the problem, as the common cold tends to subside in about a week.
Ways to Treat Your Allergy Symptoms
Of course, it isn't enough to list everything that can cause allergic reactions; you also need to know how to relieve them. Here's what you do about these pollens that make you feel awful and keep you from doing the things you love:
Get an allergy test! You won’t know where to start unless you first find out what you’re allergic to. Immunotherapy is the fastest and most effective way to relieve your allergies long-term, but you need an allergy test to get started.
Make some easy but impactful changes at home. Remove shoes and change clothes when coming in from outside, wipe down pets, and keep your windows closed when you’re inside. You’ll also want to make sure you change air filters regularly and consider getting a HEPA air filter for your home.
Monitor daily pollen counts. This can be done on weatherchannel.com or pollen.com. This will help you plan accordingly and take proper precautions if you are outside.
Don't Wait to Act
Allergies shouldn't have to keep you from enjoying the beauty and climate of Phoenix!
At Aspire Allergy & Sinus, our specialists are trained and experienced in testing, diagnosing, and treating allergies. We have 3 clinics in Phoenix, specifically located in Chandler, Mesa and Tempe!
Our Phoenix team consists of Dr. Maheep Sohal, sinus surgeon, Dr. Miriam K. Anand, allergist, Monica Burns, PA-C, MPAS, Cheryl Marshall, PA-C, and Marilyn Roy, PA-C.
This team is dedicated to providing the ultimate care to all of our Phoenix patients! Stop depending on short-term, over-the-counter solutions, and book your appointment online today!