You are probably aware that seasonal allergies are caused by trees and weeds pollinating, but did you know that dozens of plants and trees can cause these allergies? People tend to call it the common cold, but the symptoms aren’t so common for millions of people. Depending on the pollen count in your area, you may find out that the pollen from various trees, weeds, and plants can trigger your allergy symptoms. It’s best to watch the pollen count before planning any outdoor activities or long car rides.
Trees and plants
Trees are the biggest culprits during months when pollen counts are high. Some trees to look out for include ash, alder, birch, elm, hazel, and oak. During the spring and summer months, ragweed is another big problem. Pollen from ragweed can be carried for miles by the wind and make allergy sufferers miserable.
Other plants that will certainly trigger your allergies include mugwort and other weeds that grow throughout the United States. These plants have spikes of flowers that poke through the stems of the plants and release tiny grains of pollen into the air when disturbed by wind or animals walking nearby. Mold spores cause allergic reactions in many people each year as well. Molds thrive in damp areas such as basements or showers with leaky faucets.
The grass is another common allergen during the summer months. Grass pollen levels tend to be highest in the afternoon and early evening. Some perennial types of grass pollinate during winter months in warmer climates. So if you’re having trouble breathing or your eyes are puffy due to allergies, try sleeping with your bedroom windows closed during these hours.
Pets are a common source of allergic reactions. The proteins in pet saliva, urine, and dander (tiny particles of skin shed by pet fur) can trigger symptoms. Pets that are most likely to cause this problem have the heaviest fur and most active oil-producing glands — such as dogs, cats, and rabbits — but birds, rodents, and reptiles also can be sources of allergens. The best way to avoid a reaction from your pet is to get rid of it.
But if you’re not ready for that drastic step, there are other ways to handle this. You could wash your hands after handling your pet or cleaning its cage or aquarium, wash your pet regularly with a mild shampoo formulated for pets, and keep your pet out of your bedroom. If you have asthma, ask your doctor whether you should keep pets out of the entire house and vacuum carpets frequently to remove animal hairs and dander. Use air filters in your heating and air conditioning system, including furnace filters and room air cleaners.
Ragweed is one of the most allergenic weeds. Ragweed plants produce large amounts of pollen that cause allergic reactions for many people during late summer and early fall. Other less common weed allergens include sagebrush and pigweed. Certain types of grasses are often mistakenly referred to as weeds.
Mold spores are found everywhere, including in soil and wood. They’re prevalent in damp, humid conditions or areas with many decomposing leaves. Mold grows during warmer weather, producing spores that can cause symptoms. Some common molds include; Alternaria, Aspergillus, Cladosporium, and Mucor.