Seasonal Allergies: A Month-to-Month Guide to Your Allergies
Do you experience allergies year-round? Or, do your allergies seem to flare up for just a few months out of the year?
Common allergy symptoms include sneezing, nasal congestion, skin rash, runny nose, wheezing, coughing, and itchy, watery eyes, among others. You may associate your symptoms with “allergy season,” but what does that mean? Many people think that “allergy season” only occurs in the spring months when pollen is in the air. In reality, however, there is no one single “allergy season” that applies to all people with allergies. It really depends on what you are allergic to and where you live.
Someone with an allergy to tree pollen may experience allergy symptoms during the spring or summer when pollen is more prevalent, while someone with an allergy to dust mites may experience more symptoms during the cold winter months when more time is spent indoors. Your symptoms are related to exposure.
Here’s a month-by-month breakdown of when you’re most likely to come into contact with certain allergens:
January: Indoor allergens are more of a problem during the winter because more time spent inside your home also means increased exposure to things like dust mites, pet dander, and mold. You can reduce your exposure by eliminating these allergens from your home by keeping humidity below 40%, washing your bedding in hot water, and regularly vacuuming and cleaning your home. (Tip: your should use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.)
While it is relatively rare, some people may also experience cold urticaria, which is an allergic reaction to cold temperatures. It can cause hives, redness, swelling, and itching after you’ve been exposed to the cold.
February: Indoor allergens may continue to aggravate your symptoms in February. It is also possible to see tree pollen popping up around the U.S. in this month, even in the colder Northeast. Allergy symptoms may be caused by pollen from alder, maple, hickory, elm, and walnut trees, among others. Cedar trees also pollinate in the winter months (December through March). Tree pollen can cause the same allergy symptoms that are common in “spring allergies,” such as sneezing, congestion, and itchy, watery eyes.
March: With winter beginning to transition into spring, pollen will become more of an issue in March. In addition to tree pollen, pollen from weeds and grasses may also be an issue if spring comes early. Make sure you load up your favorite pollen tracker app onto your phone when March rolls around! Knowing the pollen count can help you plan your daily activities in an effort to reduce exposure to allergens (ex. exercising outdoors when pollen counts are low).
April: Make sure to make an appointment with your allergist and stock up on medications before April rolls around if you have a pollen allergy – April is the height of pollen production for many trees, grasses, and weeds. This can leave many people with seasonal allergies feeling pretty miserable. Remember to keep your windows closed to avoid letting airborne allergens into your home.
May: Tree and grass pollens are still a concern in May. You may also start to see more insects out and about, so stay alert if you are allergic to insect stings or bites.
June: Grass pollens like bermuda, oat, and rye are in full effect in June and can be affected by environmental changes, such as temperature and rainfall. If you haven’t experienced any symptoms from grass pollen yet, it’s likely you may start noticing symptoms during this month. As the temperature warms up you’ll probably want to spend more time outside, which means increased exposure to pollen. (Remember to check your pollen tracker app before you head outside.) You can avoid bringing pollen into your home by taking your shoes off at the door and changing your clothes as soon as you get inside. It’s also a good idea to shower before you go to sleep to avoid bringing pollen into your bed.
July: The month of July brings some good news with it: grass and tree pollen levels should start to reduce. Unfortunately, however, weed pollen may still be an issue and fungus and mold spores start to make an appearance. Mold spores can be found in damp environments, so check your bathroom and basement for any collected moisture or leaks.
August: Mold levels will begin to peak due to the hot, humid weather. Ragweed season also begins during mid August and it can be a difficult pollen to avoid – it has been found two miles into the atmosphere and 400 miles out at sea! The best course of action is to take your medications and avoid exposure.
September: Weed pollens continue to be a problem for allergy sufferers in September, and ragweed will reach its peak in the middle of the month. A single ragweed plant can produce billions of grains of pollen and some of that pollen might be around until the first frost of the season.
October: You might get some relief from your fall allergy symptoms during October, but there are still allergens hanging around. Increased rainfall can cause a growth in the production of mold spores.
November: Here’s something to be thankful for in November: ragweed season is on its way out! November is one of the better months for people with outdoor allergies as pollen levels decline during this month. However, as things get chillier and you once again start to spend more time indoors you’ll have to cope with mold, dust, and pet dander.
December: As in November and January before it, indoor allergies will be a concern in the month of December. Those with an allergy to dust mites may see more symptoms during December as holiday decorations are brought out of storage and anyone with an allergy to mold should be careful if they bring a living Christmas tree into the home as there could be mold spores on the branches.
Are you prepared for your own personal “allergy season”? The first step for preparing for allergy season is to be tested to learn what you are allergic to. Once you know what brings your allergy symptoms on, you can reduce or avoid exposure no matter what time of year it is.
If you have any questions about managing your allergies, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to help! Feel free to give us a call at 212-729-1283 or email us at [email protected]Search More
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Fordham Pollen Index
Pollen Count | August 6 through 8
Armonk, N.Y.: Tree: 0 | Grass: 0 | Weeds: 0
New York, N.Y.: Tree: 0 | Grass: 0 | Weeds: 0
The Fordham Pollen Index is measured by collecting pollen from the air at our Lincoln Center campus in Midtown Manhattan and from our Louis Calder Biological Field Station in Armonk, NY.
Allergy season in the Northeastern United States runs from early March through late October. Trees, weeds and grasses release wind-blown pollen that is invisible but might give us a runny nose, itching and congestion. However, it can be more serious and some people get asthmatic symptoms. Trees produce the most pollen; they flower from spring into early summer. Then grasses and weeds begin to flower. Most grass and weed pollen is released from August through October. In early spring our pollen stations begin posting daily counts. For each day that you see a pollen count, you get the number of pollen grains that our air sampler collected over one 24-hour period, showing how many pollen grains we counted in each cubic meter of air. The count we give is followed by list of specific pollen types in their order of importance. Notice that the pollen count is not a forecast. The most recent count will be from the previous day. However, plant flowering times are quite predictable, and if you follow the counts over a few days, you can see which pollen types are on the rise. So if you have allergies and you know what you are allergic to, this might be a good time to see your doctor.
Pollen Fact of the Week
Fordham’s Pollen Monitoring Station at the Louis Calder Center will be 20 years old in 2017 (and the Louis Calder Center will be 50 years old!). Time flies when you’re counting pollen!
View the pollen count spreadsheet.
For further information, contact Dr. Guy Robinson.
Follow us on Twitter to receive latest pollen counts!
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Based on the weather conditions expected for your area, Watson predicts the following risk of allergy symptoms:
Very HighModerateVery Low
Do you know which kinds of pollen aggravate your symptoms? Here is the 3 day outlook for the worst offenders.
- Tonight: None
- Tomorrow: None
- Thursday: None
- Tonight: None
- Tomorrow: None
- Thursday: None
- Tonight: Moderate
- Tomorrow: Moderate
- Thursday: Moderate
To remove pollen you pick up outside, take a shower and change your clothes.
Keep your windows shut and use your AC or a HEPA purifier to filter allergens.
Learn when conditions such as the wind increase pollen levels, so you can prepare.
From medications to nasal sprays, talk to your doctor about your options.
The Weather Company is the world's most accurate forecaster, according to the most recent, most comprehensive study available (2010-2017) from Forecast Watch.
Pollen levels are the concentration of pollen in the air, based on your location within the nation. Checking the pollen levels in your area is a helpful tool if you suffer from allergies or hay fever. Pollen levels vary by location and are directly affected by weather conditions.
If you are an allergy sufferer, you can use the pollen count to help manage your allergies. Checking daily pollen counts before making outdoor plans can help you avoid an allergy attack. If you are seeking allergy or asthma treatment, contact the top allergy and asthma specialist in New York, Dr. Shukla.
In general, spring and summer are when pollen count is highest. This is when plants, grasses, and trees are flowering, particularly in the early mornings.
Warm, dry, and windy weather and climates with little or no rain have high pollen levels. This is because the conditions allow for the pollen to spread easily through the air. Rain or cool weather dramatically drops allergy levels, because they cleanse the air or halt the spread of pollen.
However, you should note that many plants pollinate year-round, so you could experience allergy symptoms year-round.
Pollen Calendar for the Northeast US by Month
*Indicates severe allergen
This is when tree pollens will be prevalent. In February, it is only Alder, Cedar, and Juniper* trees. In March and April, you can add Ash*, Birch, Cottonwood*, Elm, American, and Maple* trees. Other severe allergen trees begin to blossom in April including Mulberry*, Oak*, Pecan*, and Sycamore*. In April, we also see the first of the weeds that will show up in summer– Plantain*.
In May the Alder, Cedar, and Juniper* dissipate, but Walnut, and Black* tree pollens appear for the first time. There is also the addition of Dock/Sorrell weed. If you have grass allergies, take note- May is when they begin to appear. These include Bermuda*, Kentucky Bluegrass*, Meadow Fescue*, and Rye*.
By June, the only trees left in bloom will be Walnut and Black* trees. However, the air will be full of pollen from weeds and grasses. Weed pollens in June include Careless/ Pigweed*, Dock/ Sorrell, Lambsquarters, Marsh-elder*, Nettle, Plantain*, and Sage*. June is the month when ALL the local grasses are prevalent. This means Bermuda*, Johnson Grass, Kentucky Bluegrass*, Meadow Fescue*, Rye*, and Timothy*. As you can see, almost all grasses are severe allergens, and this makes June a particularly perilous month for allergy sufferers.
In July, the grasses begin to subside, but the weeds come into full effect. Kentucky Bluegrass* and Meadow Fescue* grasses go into hiding, but all the rest will still be in the air. In addition to the weeds that were prevalent in previous months, in July we see the rise of Russian Thistle*, Ragweed*, and Cocklebur.
August gets better in terms of grasses and trees, but there are still a lot of weed pollens in the air. Walnut and Black* tree pollens dissipate, as do Nettle and Cocklebur weeds. All the rest of the weeds are still in bloom, however. The good news is that by August, the only grasses left are Bermuda* and Johnson Grass.
September is the month when seasonal allergy sufferers finally get a little relief. The good news is there is less pollen in the air; the unwelcome news is, they are almost all severe allergen pollens. The only grass left in September is Bermuda*. In September, we once again see the appearance of Cedar and Juniper* trees. The weeds that are left from summer are Cocklebur, Dog Fennel*, Ragweed*, and Sage*.
In October the last of the grasses goes away, as do most of the remaining weeds. What’s left are Cedar and Juniper* trees, and Ragweed* and Dog Fennel* weeds. By November, all that’s left are the Cedar and Juniper* trees.
These cool, wet, windy winter months are the best for allergy sufferers. All the pollens go into hiding and you should not experience any problems with your allergies.
Allergy and Asthma Specialist in New York
Dr. Mayank Shukla takes pride in being the top asthma specialist in New York. With offices in Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens, and Manhattan, Dr. Shukla sees over 5,000 patients per year in the New York city area. If you are suffering from seasonal allergies, contact us today at (917)924-6383.
Count pollen new york
Well, basically yes. How many guys do you need to drive. How many. One, of course.High pollen count has allergies acting up more than normal for some Utahns
A real bitch. Already getting used to the feeling that I am in one piece of linen. Quietly lay on the couch.
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