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The worst allergies in Colorado Springs

When you have an allergy, it means your body’s immune system sees harmless substances like plant pollen,dust mites, or pet dander as infectious invaders. Your antibodies start trying to fight off the allergen, treating it like a virus, which can trigger many different symptoms that you experience as allergies.

Many nature lovers are drawn to the Colorado Springs area for its abundance of outdoor activities, sunny weather, and wildlife. Unfortunately, some of the most appealing natural features can also make it a difficult location when you have allergies.

Most Common Allergies in Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs tends to have a cooler, drier climate, and four distinct seasons. This means that different outdoor allergens tend to peak at different times of the year. Understanding your specific triggers and when they are strongest can help you better plan outdoor activities and reduce symptoms.

Tree Allergies

Most trees rely on the wind to carry their pollen and fertilize other plants. Colorado Springs’ dry, breezy weather is perfect for spreading pollen--and the allergy symptoms that often go with it. If you suffer from spring or summer allergies, one or more of these trees may be the cause:

Elm trees can be found throughout the United States, usually near rivers and other damp areas. Like other allergenic plants, elms produce pollen through their flowers and fruit. The blooming period usually lasts from February through April, peaking in March.

Cottonwood and Aspen trees are very similar, both members of the Populus genus and valued for their ability to provide shade on a hot, sunny day. Unfortunately, they are also both common allergy triggers in Colorado, blossoming from February through April, peaking in March.

Juniper and Cedar trees are evergreen, coniferous trees found abundantly in the Rocky Mountain region. Junipers may also grow small enough to look more like bushes.They can trigger allergies for a significant part of the year, starting as early as late January and lasting through May, although the peak season is March and April.

Oak trees produce a lot of pollen in Colorado Springs from April through the end of June, peaking in May. These types of trees often cause the yellow-green dust you may find covering outdoor surfaces.

Maple trees are potentially allergenic, especially those that depend on the wind to carry their pollen. Box elder, one of the most allergenic types of maple, produces pollen in March through May, though it may begin a little earlier or last a little later. Peak time is usually April.

Other Plant Allergies

Trees are not the only source of allergens for Colorado Springs residents; other types of plants produce pollen that can aggravate allergies.

Tumbleweed and Russian thistle are two names for an invasive plant that has become a symbol of the American West. Its allergen-producing season ranges from late June through the end of October, peaking in August.

Sagebrush is a common allergen that can make autumn miserable for allergic individuals in dry or mountainous regions. August and September are usually the worst allergy months for these plants in Colorado Springs, although their season can last from early July through the end of October.

Ragweed and other weed pollen can aggravate allergies in the late summer and early fall,peaking in August.

Are Colorado Springs allergies bothering you?

Allergies may be difficult to identify, since they often feel like a cold or even the flu. Common symptoms include:

●       Runny nose or nasal congestion

●       Scratchy throat

●       Fatigue or difficulty sleeping

●       Coughing or wheezing

Symptoms that are more likely to indicate allergies include:

●       Itchy, stinging, or watery eyes

●       Hives or rash where your skin came in contact with an allergen

●       Dry, scaly skin

●       Symptoms that change with your environment

If you can’t tell what is causing your symptoms, you can check out our guide to help you tell the difference.

Tips to Control Your Allergies in Colorado Springs

●       Track pollen counts in Colorado Springs with an app or website (stormspollen.com)

●       Keep doors and windows closed during high pollen counts

●       Remove shoes when coming inside your home and change your clothes immediately

●       Change your indoor air filters every season

●       Indoor-outdoor pets should be bathed or wiped down at least once a week

●       Backpacks, purses, and other bags that are carried around outside should be left in home entryways, and never brought into the bedroom

●       Pollen counts are the highest in the early morning, so avoid staying outdoors during these times

●       Wash rugs, curtains, and bedding regularly during allergy season

●       If you are allergic to any trees on your property, keep branches trimmed to reduce pollen production

 

Allergies shouldn’t have to keep you from enjoying the beauty and climate of Colorado Springs! At The William Storms Allergy Clinic and Aspire Allergy & Sinus, our specialists are trained and experienced in testing, diagnosing, and treating outdoor allergies.Stop depending on short-term, over-the-counter solutions, and request an appointment today!

William Storms, MD

Dr. William Storms has practiced in Colorado Springs & Pueblo since 1975 and is a past Clinical Professor at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. He practices clinical allergy and clinical research at The William Storms Allergy Clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

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