When is allergy season?

Season start and end dates
SpringMarch 20 – June 20
SummerJune 21 – September 21
valSeptember 22 – December 20
WinterDecember 21–March 20

Autumn allergies

Fall allergies develop because of high amounts of allergens, such as grass and ragweed, which are common in many areas during the fall months.

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, there are several plants that can trigger seasonal fall allergies. Unlike ragweed, these plants include:

  • Burning Bush
  • cocklebur
  • lamb quarters
  • pork herb
  • wormwood
  • mugwort
  • tumbleweed
  • russian thistle

Factors

Some other factors have been associated with the onset of seasonal fall allergies. These factors revolve around climate and can include:

  • Cool nights and warm days that make ambrosia pollen thrive
  • High heat and humidity that encourages mold growth
  • Spending time outdoors during the morning when pollen levels are highest
  • High pollen counts after a rain shower
  • High winds that increase the amount of pollen in the air

Can you distance yourself from allergies?

Unfortunately, there is virtually nowhere in the country that is safe from all allergens. Exercise won’t help you escape the allergens that trigger symptoms, but the symptoms themselves can vary depending on the season and region.

Winter allergies

While winter allergies are less common than fall and spring allergies, they do exist. The same allergy symptoms will occur; however, they are usually caused by indoor allergens, as opposed to those obtained outdoors in the warmer months.

Indoor allergens can include:

  • dust mites
  • pet dander
  • Mold
  • cockroaches

These are year-round allergy triggers, but they can be increased in winter by spending more time indoors, increasing exposure to them.

Factors

The biggest factor causing winter allergies is the extra time spent indoors, around indoor allergens, when the temperature outside drops.

In areas of the country where winters are warm or tropical, winter allergies are not caused by too much time indoors. Rather, they are due to the warm climate that allows grass to pollinate for most of the year.

Where you live and seasonal allergies

Studies show that it’s not just different seasons that can trigger seasonal allergies. Geography can play an important role in the onset of allergies. People who live close to the equator are at an increased risk of developing allergies or asthma, regardless of the pollen count.

Spring Allergies

Spring is the time of year when most people suffer from seasonal allergies. This is due to the pollen released by plants in the spring.

Trees are often the most responsible for spring allergies. Some specific tree allergens include:

  • oak trees
  • birch
  • Cedar
  • Els
  • horse chestnut
  • Willow
  • Poplar

Factors

The climate has a lot to do with spring allergies, as a milder winter can lead to an early spring thaw. This causes an earlier and later longer spring season and aggravated spring allergies.

Usually there is a lot of rain in the spring and that can also cause symptoms. As rain washes away pollen, pollen counts rise significantly after the rain falls.

Therapy

Treatment for seasonal allergies usually relies on medications, but some natural remedies can also help.

medication

There are several types of medications that are given for seasonal allergies. They contain:

  • antihistamines: antihistamines are drugs designed to inhibit the action of histamine, which causes some allergy symptoms.
  • antileukotrienes: leukotrienea chemical produced in the body is released in response to an allergen and causes symptoms that affect the airways. antileukotrienes are designed to reduce their effect to help prevent and relieve symptoms.
  • Glucocorticoids: Glucocorticoids can reduce the inflammation in the body caused by the immune system because it fights allergens.

Natural Remedies

In some cases, natural remedies can be used alongside other medications or on their own to reduce allergy symptoms. Some natural remedies are:

  • Saline nasal irrigation, which is rinsing the nasal cavity with salt water
  • Butterbur, an herb that has been shown to help relieve itchy eyes
  • Incense essential oil can be used to reduce the symptoms of allergies

prevention

The best way to prevent allergies is to avoid triggers. While this can be difficult, it will help you avoid symptoms.

Other ways you can prevent allergy symptoms include:

  • Stay indoors when pollen counts are high.
  • Avoid drying your clothes on an outside line if the pollen count is high.
  • Protect your eyes with wraparound sunglasses.
  • During allergy season, try to keep all doors and windows of your home closed as much as possible.

Can I take medications to prevent allergy symptoms?

There are some medications that can be taken daily as a preventative measure to avoid allergy symptoms. Some studies have also shown that including the dietary supplement spirulina may also help prevent allergy symptoms.

Overview

Allergies can affect people all year round due to various allergens or allergy triggers. Seasonal allergies are allergies that affect people more often at a certain time of the year. Seasonal allergies are most common in the spring, but can occur at any time of the year or in any geographic area.

Treatment for allergies includes antihistamines, antileukotrienes, glucocorticoids, or natural remedies such as saline nasal irrigation. Allergies can be prevented by avoiding allergy triggers.

A word from Verywell

Allergies can be difficult to deal with, even if your symptoms are mild. While there is no way to completely avoid allergens all the time, you can use strategies to further prevent symptoms. If you have severe allergies that affect your daily functioning, talk to your healthcare provider about possible medications that may be helpful for you. Seasonal allergies are uncomfortable, but they can be managed effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do you know if you have seasonal allergies?

    If you suffer from any of the symptoms of seasonal allergies, such as itchy or watery eyes, a stuffy or runny nose, or a cough, you may have seasonal allergies. The best way to tell if they are allergies is to check when they come and go and if other symptoms are present. This can include body aches and fever, which may indicate that something other than seasonal allergies is the cause.

  • How do you know if you are allergic or COVID-19?

    There are several symptoms of seasonal allergies and COVID-19 that overlap. However, there are also many COVID-19 symptoms that would not occur with seasonal allergies, such as fever, loss of taste or smell, and body aches or pains. It is important to pay close attention to your symptoms to ensure that you seek appropriate medical care.

  • How do you know if you have an allergy or a cold?

    Colds can present with symptoms not associated with allergies, such as a fever. If you have itchy or watery eyes accompanied by other cold-like symptoms, you probably have an allergy. Monitor your symptoms accordingly and call your healthcare provider if in doubt.

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to back up the facts in our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.

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  2. Schmidt CW. Pollen overload: seasonal allergies in a changing climate. Environment Health perspective. 2016;124(4):A70-5. doi:10.1289/ehp.124-A70

  3. American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Common seasonal allergy triggers.

  4. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Indoor allergens.

  5. Oktaria V, Dharmage SC, Burgess JA, et al. Association between latitude and allergic disease: a longitudinal study from childhood to middle age. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2013;110(2):80-5.e1. doi:10.1016/j.anai.2012.11.005

  6. Emeryk A, Emeryk-Maksymiuk J, Janeczek K. New guidelines for the treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis. Postepy Dermatol Allergol. 2019;36(3):255-260. doi: 10.5114/ada.2018.75749

  7. Hermelingmeier KE, Weber RK, Hellmich M, Heubach CP, Mösges R. Nasal irrigation as adjunctive treatment in allergic rhinitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Ben J Rhinol Allergy. 2012;26(5):e119-25. doi:10.2500/ajra.2012.26.3787

  8. Bielory L, Heimall J. Review of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the Treatment of Eye Allergies. Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2003;3(5):395-399. doi:10.1097/00130832-200310000-00013

  9. Choi SY, Park K. Corrigendum on the effect of aromatherapy oil inhalation on patients with perennial allergic rhinitis: a randomized controlled trial. Evidence-Based Supplement Alternative Med. 2016;2103616. doi: 10.1155/2016/2103616

  10. National Health Service. Prevention: allergies.

  11. Karkos PD, Leong SC, Karkos CD, Sivaji N, Assimakopoulos DA. Spirulina in clinical practice: evidence-based human applications. Evidence-Based Supplement Alternative Med. 2011;2011:531053. doi:10.1093/ecam/nen058

By Angelica Bottaro

Angelica Bottaro is a professional freelance writer with over 5 years of experience. Educated in both psychology and journalism, her dual education has given her the research and writing skills needed to deliver solid and engaging content in the health space.

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