January 24, 2023

All You Need To Know About Cottonwood Allergies

When spring arrives, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll start to feel itchy and begin sneezing. That's because the trees have started to pollinate and we're in the midst of their season. 

Cottonwoods are one of the most common culprits behind allergic reactions to pollen, especially if you suffer from allergies every year at this time. There are hundreds of known allergy-causing trees, but there are six to ten different species that show up most frequently on allergy lists, including Juniper, Oak and Pine trees. So what does that mean for anyone with allergies? Excessive sneezing, watery eyes and a runny nose - but you don't have to suffer through this time of year because we have compiled an extensive list of ways to help treat or prevent your cottonwood allergy. 

What is cottonwood?

Cottonwood is a tree that provides ample shade. They’re known for producing cotton-like seeds that are released into the air during pollination season. The fluff can also be easily separated from the seeds and released into the air again by animals or even weather changes. These trees are wind-pollinated, and their pollen is considered to be moderately allergenic. 

When is cottonwood season?

Since cottonwoods are trees, they 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 February through mid-May for those areas with temperate climates, like Texas or Florida. Cottonwood pollen allergy season typically peaks during March and April. If you’re unsure of when Cottonwood is high in your area, download our free allergen calendar

Where does cottonwood grow?

Cottonwood is an extremely common tree that can be found across the US. Due to the shade they provide, cottonwood trees can be found in backyards, parks, near rivers and lakes, and many other areas. 

Even if you don’t see cottonwood trees near you, because of their lightweight pollen that can travel for miles, they can still affect you. 

What are cottonwood allergy symptoms?

Cottonwood allergy symptoms look very similar to symptoms of allergic rhinitis. This includes:

What can I do to prevent my cottonwood allergy?

  • 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.

  • 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 Cottonwood!

  • Wash your bedding weekly in hot, soapy water.

  • Wash off after coming in from the outdoors. Since cottonwood 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. If you do bring pollen indoors, an air purifier will help eliminate it from the air.

  • Keep all windows closed. This is for the car and home. While it might be nice to let the nice spring breeze in, that can let pollen in as well, causing an increase in your allergy symptoms.

  • Wipe your pets' paws. After pets come in from the outdoors make sure to wipe their paws and their coats to remove any lingering pollen particles. 

Cottonwood allergy treatments

Short term treatments for cottonwood 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. 

Long-term treatments for cottonwood allergies:

Immunotherapy is also known as allergy shots. Allergy shots are a great way to treat your allergies at their root cause. The process involves injecting a small amount of the allergen into your body so your immune system learns, over time, not to overreact to it. 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. These work in the same way as allergy shots, except these are shotless and painless! Allergy drops are meant to be taken by placing three drops under your tongue, and that’s it! 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.

With spring, the weather will be better and the flowers will have bloomed, but with all this comes allergy season. By keeping a few things in mind and following some simple steps, 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! 

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