When Does Allergy Season Start? – A Seasonal Allergy Calendar
Seasonal allergies are a major bummer, especially for those who experience symptoms all year-round. Stuffy noses, teary eyes, and constant sneezing can make you feel like you have a severe cold, even in the spring and summer months! For some, allergy symptoms are a minor inconvenience. For others who are more sensitive, allergy symptoms can quickly become a major life disruption.
Sometimes, seasonal allergies can get so severe that they force you to go indoors to escape those sinus-triggering particles known as allergens. Unfortunately, when allergy season is at its peak, airborne allergens can make their way inside your home – the exact place you go to escape them!
Sure, there are allergy medications to help negate the effects of pollen, mold spores, and other airborne allergens. However, most of these medications have undesirable side effects and only offer temporary relief. Luckily, there are other ways to combat seasonal allergies no matter what time of year it is. Knowing what airborne allergens are active in your region of the U.S. during each season is a great place to start. Our seasonal allergy calendar is a useful tool to use when preparing for allergy season. Read on to learn about the allergens in your area and how you can most effectively manage your allergy symptoms.
When is Allergy Season?
Allergy season begins when plants and other botanicals in your area begin releasing pollen and spores. Pollen, spores, and also mold are the primary culprits of seasonal allergies. The timing of allergy season varies across the United States. Because the U.S. is ecologically diverse, it’s important to know when certain allergens become active in your area. This knowledge is essential in preparing for peak allergy season. A well-planned allergy defense strategy will help provide some relief for your symptoms.
As weather and climate change over the year, different plants enter their reproductive stage. When this happens, they release various airborne allergens including pollen, spores, and mold. We used data collected by HollisterStier Allergy to build a seasonal allergy calendar. This calendar lists the trees, weeds, and grasses that produce the most airborne allergens in the U.S. Below you can find the seasonal allergy calendar organized by regions of the country and season.
Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah
Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont
Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington
Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
How Long is Allergy Season?
Allergy season lasts around 6-8 months depending on what region you live in. In most regions, plants begin producing allergens early in the year around January or February. Plants typically stop producing allergens in the fall around September. Within this 6-9 month period, trees, weeds, and grasses all have their own peak seasons. These individual peak seasons last around 3 months. The tree, grass, and weed allergy seasons are staggered over the year and draw out the entirety of the allergy season to up to 9 months.
While allergen production slows down in the fall, it is important to note that fall allergies are still very common. Ragweed is one of the most aggressive pollen producers across the nation and blooms in the fall. Most plants indeed reproduce in the spring and pollen counts are exceptionally high during the spring months, but this is no reason to overlook fall allergies. Plenty of people who suffer from seasonal allergies notice an allergy spike in the fall too. You can use our seasonal allergy calendar above to check if your region is a hot spot for fall allergies.
When do Seasonal Allergies Start?
Most people believe that allergy season starts in the spring but this is not always the case. Many plants begin releasing allergens in January or February. However, it is important to remember that tree, weed, and grass allergens all start production at different times of the year. Take the Southwest U.S. for example – plants actively produce allergens from January to September, but tree allergens peak in April, and weed allergens peak in July. If you want to know exactly when your seasonal allergies will start acting up, be sure to take a look at our seasonal allergy calendar above.
How Long do Seasonal Allergies Last?
The duration of seasonal allergies depends on the individual. A variety of factors can play a role in how long you will experience seasonal allergy symptoms. These factors include allergy sensitivity, rainfall, proximity to allergen-producing plants, heightened symptoms from specific plants, and the weather/climate that year.
You can expect your seasonal allergies to last as long as there are plants actively producing allergens, but there are exceptions. Some individuals are highly allergic to some airborne allergens but not others. For example, it is possible to be more sensitive to tree pollens than to weed pollens. Tree pollens reach their peak in the spring and weed pollens reach their peak in late fall. If you are sensitive to tree pollens but not weed pollens, your seasonal allergies may last for just a few months in the spring and early summer. Someone sensitive to both tree pollens and weed pollens may have spring, summer, and fall allergies that last well over 6 months. It is a good idea to track when your seasonal allergies begin and end each year. This data can help you decipher whether you are more susceptible to tree, weed, or grass allergens and also when allergy symptoms peak for you personally.
How to Get Rid of Seasonal Allergies
According to LCMC Health, there is currently no permanent cure for seasonal allergies. Despite all the medications, sprays, air purifiers, home remedies, and other allergy management options that exist, none of them can provide permanent relief. However, these allergy management tools are powerful solutions that should be considered. Many of these solutions are affordable and low maintenance, and some even offer near-instant relief. If you have seasonal allergies that impact your day-to-day life, we highly suggest trying out some of the methods below.
A good place to start is reducing your exposure to allergens. You can do this by making a few simple changes to your home, car, and daily life. Closing your windows, using your air conditioner in your home and car, using an air purifier, using a humidifier, regularly changing your air filters, dusting and wiping down surfaces, and changing your clothes often are all quick changes you can make. Here are additional suggestions from Mayo Clinic that can further reduce your contact with common airborne allergens:
- Stay indoors on dry, windy days. The best time to go outside is after a good rain, which helps clear pollen from the air.
- Avoid lawn mowing, weed pulling, and other gardening chores that stir up allergens.
- Remove clothes you've worn outside and shower to rinse pollen from your skin and hair.
- Don't hang laundry outside — pollen can stick to sheets and towels.
- Wear a face mask if you do outside chores.
If these quick fixes aren’t enough to combat your allergy symptoms, medication is a common and reliable next step. Allergy medication comes in a variety of different forms, but oral antihistamines are one of the most popular options. They come as syrups, chewables, throat sprays, gel capsules, and pills.
Another popular form of medication is intranasal steroid sprays. These over-the-counter sprays are easily accessible and moderately affordable. Dr. David Lang from Cleveland Clinic even claims that nasal sprays are the most effective form of seasonal allergy management.
Allergy shots are a solution offered to those experiencing extreme symptoms. If your seasonal allergies are keeping you up at night or keeping you from living your day-to-day life, your doctor may suggest a series of allergy shots. These injections contain a small amount of the allergens that trigger your immune system. The gradual exposure builds your body’s immunity to these allergens, making you much less susceptible to symptoms.
If all these solutions fail, we recommend seeing an allergist. An allergist can create a highly personalized treatment plan for you using a combination of the remedies we listed above. They will also track your progress over time to see what solutions prove to be effective and ineffective.
How to Manage Allergy Symptoms in my Home
While almost all pollen producers live outside, allergens can quickly and easily enter your home in a variety of ways. Whether it be through open windows and doors, poor insulation, your pets, and even your clothes, pollen will inevitably make it into your home one way or another. Vacuuming, dusting, and wiping down surfaces are common methods people use to reduce allergens in their homes. However, this may do more harm than good because pollen and spores are airborne allergens. Disturbing these particles will only make them airborne once again. Some particles may settle on the surfaces in your home, but the vast majority will stay suspended in the air. For this reason, the only effective way to remove pollen from your home is to filter your air.
The best way to trap as much pollen as possible is to regularly change your air filters, AC filters, and/or furnace filters. Air filters capture pollen, spores, dust, and other allergens from your home’s air before pushing new, clean air back into your home. Changing your air filters regularly will ensure that your home is an allergy-free environment, even if pollen counts are very high outside. To maximize the effectiveness of your air filters, we recommend replacing your air filters at least every three months.
Maintaining a regular air filter replacement routine is crucial. While a new air filter can reduce seasonal allergy symptoms, a filter overdue for a replacement can exacerbate your symptoms. A worn-out air filter may even introduce allergens back into your home, making the situation worse than before. With Filterbuy’s Autoship delivery program, you never have to worry about running out or using a worn-out filter again! All you have to do is set up your delivery schedule once and we’ll do the rest for you! You’ll get the highest quality, U.S. made air filters delivered to your door before you need them. We carry over 600 sizes with MERV ratings 8, 11, and 13 and even make custom sizes to fit your exact needs. Plus, get free shipping on all U.S. orders. With Filterbuy, keeping your home free of airborne allergens is easy.
For more information on how air filters help alleviate allergy symptoms, check out this article!
How do you stop allergies immediately?
Allergy solutions are rarely immediate, but there are steps you can take right now to begin finding relief. Starting by making your home an allergen-free zone is a great first line of defense. Once again, to clear your home of pollen and other allergens, we highly recommend changing your air filters as regularly as you can. This is especially important during peak allergy season when your air filters are being bombarded by pollen, spores, and other allergens. You can take the first step right now by placing an order with Filterbuy – your filters will ship fast and free so you can begin breathing clean, allergen-free air as soon as possible.
Click here to start your order and click here for other reasons why you should be regularly changing your air filters.