With frigid temperatures, insane snowstorms, and excessive traffic jams, the winter of 2013- 2014 has been brutal.  Even though the snow has melted, and the temperatures are rising, there is one more punch that this winter has left to throw – tree allergies.  This year, in spite of the cold, they are predicted to have an explosive season. According to the US Army’s Centralized Allergen Extraction Lab, tree pollen is supposed to reach an unprecedented peak by the end of April; yet they have already begun to pack a punch here in Colorado.

The worst of the tree pollen is predicted to affect the East Coast much more severely than out here in Colorado.  Nevertheless, it is essential to heed the warning to keep you and your family protected!  So, what can you do to protect yourself?  First, it is vital to know exactly who and what your enemies are.  If someone has a tree allergy, they usually have a reaction to the pollen, not the bark or leaves.  This pollen is often a fine, powdery substance that is often invisible to the human eye.  Once exposed, those with a tree allergy will react and their bodies will try to remove what they assume is a dangerous foreign contaminant. Thus, they release histamine, swell up, sneeze, and get watery eyes and many other symptoms.

Most people with tree allergies are allergic to certain varieties.  This is why it is so important to be tested so you know precisely what you are up against.  The trees that cause the most problems include:

  • Ash
  • Birch
  • Box Elder
  • Cedar
  • Cottonwood
  • Elm
  • Willow
  • Oak
  • Aspen
  • Mulberry

If you are suffering, we recommend making sure you leave your windows and doors closed during the  tree pollen season, as well as removing any article of clothing that may be exposed to it.  Over-the-counter and prescription allergy medication can be a fantastic help as well.  However, keeping your living – and especially sleeping – space clean and pollen-free are essential for making it through the season.  When you do go outside, consider taking medication and wearing sunglasses to keep pollen out of your eyes. Pets, children and family members can also bring pollen into your home so it’s good to set up a system to keep your environment as clean as possible.

Even though the pollen season is predicted to be more severe this year, control is both possible and achievable.  Come in and see your friendly neighborhood allergist, and we can walk you through exactly what you need to do to keep yourself safe and comfortable. Don’t hesitate to call us if you suspect that you havetree or any other spring time allergy.