March 31, 2023
All About Ash Tree Allergies
When spring arrives, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll start to feel itchy and begin sneezing. That's because the trees have begun to pollinate and we're in the midst of their pollination season.
Ash trees are one of the many trees that are known to stir up some trouble with people’s allergies around the springtime. Because spring is the time of year when the majority of trees begin pollinating, it can be difficult to pinpoint which trees are the cause of your allergies. Allergy-causing trees, such as Ash, Juniper, Oak and Cottonwood trees can be an issue this time of year. But don’t worry, whether you're a seasoned allergy sufferer or dealing with spring tree allergies for the first time, this blog will help you understand what's causing your symptoms and provide you with the tools you need to manage them. So grab a tissue, take a deep breath, and let's dive into everything you need to know about ash tree allergies.
What is an ash tree?
Ash trees are known for their tall, straight trunks and large compound leaves that typically have five to nine leaflets. Ash trees are also known to be heavy pollinating trees and also spread their pollen through wind-pollination. Their pollen has a potency that is considered to be severely allergic and causes lots of issues for allergy sufferers during their allergy season.
When is ash season?
Ash trees mainly begin pollinating in the spring season with the rest of the trees. However, the beginning and ending of the spring season can vary based on where you live. This could be late January through mid-May for those areas with temperate climates, like Texas or Florida. Ash pollen allergy season typically peaks during March and April. If you’re unsure of when ash is high in your area, download our free allergen calendar!
Where does ash grow?
Ash is an extremely common tree that can be found all around the world. Ash trees tend to grow in temperate regions around the world, including North America, Europe, and Asia. With an estimated 45 to 60 species of ash around the world, you’re bound to have a variation of ash near you. The white ash tree is the most known species, and probably the most familiar looking.
They are often planted as ornamental trees in parks, gardens, and along streets, and they also have commercial uses for their wood, which is strong and durable.
Even if you don’t see ash trees near you, because of their lightweight pollen that can travel for miles, they can still affect you.
What are ash allergy symptoms?
Ash allergy symptoms look very similar to symptoms of allergic rhinitis. This includes:
- Itchy or watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Post-nasal drip
- Coughing or wheezing
- Allergy-induced asthma
What can I do to prevent my ash allergy?
- Avoid direct contact with the tree: Try to avoid coming into direct contact with the tree or its pollen. Wear gloves and long-sleeved clothing when gardening or spending time outdoors, and wash your clothes and body thoroughly after spending time outside.
- Keep windows and doors closed: Keeping windows and doors closed can help prevent pollen from entering your home and exacerbating your allergy symptoms.
- Get an allergy test. The first step to limiting exposure is to find out what you’re allergic to! Allergy tests can either be performed as a skin (prick) test or an intradermal test. At Aspire Allergy & Sinus, we test for 58 of the most common allergens, including ash!
- Wash your bedding weekly in hot, soapy water. You don’t want to be getting a bad night’s sleep due to your bed full of pollen.
- Check your local pollen count. By using apps like pollen.com, you can check how high the pollen levels are. If pollen is too high, try to plan your day accordingly. Remember that pollen levels are typically highest from early morning to late afternoon.
- Shower after coming in from the outdoors. Since ash pollen is so small and lightweight, it can stick to almost anything, including your hair and clothes. It is critical to rinse and wash your hair to avoid bringing pollen indoors.
- Invest in a HEPA air purifier. Air purifiers can help filter out pollen and other allergens from the air inside your home.
- Wipe your pets off after being outside. Did you know that your pets can pick up just as much pollen as you? Their furry coat acts as a trap to lingering pollen particles in the air.
Remember, prevention is key when it comes to allergies. Taking steps to reduce your exposure to allergens can go a long way in managing your symptoms and improving your quality of life.
Ash allergy treatments
Short-term treatments for ash allergies:
Over-the-counter medications: These medications can provide quick, temporary relief from allergy symptoms, but it’s important to note that they only mask symptoms and do nothing to treat the root cause.
Nasal irrigation: Rinsing your nasal passages with a saline solution can help flush out allergens and reduce congestion. See more on how to properly use a nasal irrigation system here.
Long-term treatments for ash allergies:
Subcutaneous Immunotherapy is also known as allergy shots. Allergy shots are a great way to treat your allergies at their root cause. During the treatment, the allergist injects a small amount of the allergen under your skin, usually in your upper arm. Over time, the amount of allergen in the injection is gradually increased, which helps your body build up a tolerance to the allergen. These shots are administered either weekly or biweekly in the office and are a great way to create an allergy treatment routine!
Sublingual immunotherapy is also known as allergy drops. Unlike allergy shots, which are administered by injection, SLIT can be taken at home and does not require visits to a healthcare provider. SLIT is typically administered daily, by placing drops of the allergen extract under the tongue. They can be taken on the go and come in five different flavors.
ExACT Immunotherapy is our newest treatment! ExACT is the fastest and, some say, easiest allergy treatment. This treatment consists of three shots given over an eight-week period to provide allergy relief!Clinical studies have shown that this treatment is just as effective as three years' worth of allergy shots, in just a fraction of the time! If you’re looking for quick and effective allergy relief, this is the option for you.
Spring allergy season can be challenging for many people, but there are several steps you can take to reduce your symptoms and enjoy the season. From avoiding pollen to using medications or allergy shots, there are many options available to help you manage your allergies. Your spring allergies don't have to get in the way of your outdoor enjoyment. There are ways to treat your allergies; it’s time to take the first step towards your new life. Book your appointment online today!