People tend to talk about allergy season as if it's a singular, unique annual event. Unfortunately, allergy seasons continue all year long, depending on where you live and what you're allergic to. And thanks to that variance, some people may have no problems in the spring but struggle to even go outside in the fall.
To combat allergies, you need know your triggers and what time of the year you have to face them. To help you with that, here are the most common allergens that appear in each of the four seasons. Keep in mind, however, that this will vary depending on your region. Some plants, for example, may not grow in some areas or may bloom at a different time of the year. Still, the items on this list tend to be fairly common and predictable.
While many poems reference spring as a time of renewal, the season is also firmly linked to allergies. As all those plants bloom and come back to life after the cold of winter, the air starts to swarm with pollen, which can trigger allergic responses. The plants you need to be wary of are those that use wind for pollination -- many species of trees such as birch, cedar, and oak trees. Rather than relying on insects or other animals to give the pollen a ride, these trees simply spray it into the air, making it all too easy for humans to inhale.
During the summer months, tree pollen has largely decreased. The grasses and weeds, on the other hand, start increasing their production. The problem usually gets compounded by lawn maintenance, which throws the pollen back up into the air. Watch out for all grasses, outdoor mold, and ragweed. Also, keep in mind that thanks to increased travel, rising temperatures, and calm winds, air pollution tends to worsen during the summer months.
The same weeds from summer step things up as the season changes to fall. A few trees may also start to release pollen at this time, but that tends to be comparatively minor. The chief allergen at this time of year, of course, is ragweed, which exists in 17 different species throughout the United States.
Although winter isn't generally thought of as one of the allergy seasons, it most definitely can be. Granted, the release of pollen tends to decrease significantly throughout the colder part of the year, but that just exposes people to a different group of allergens. As the temperatures drops, families spend more and more time inside, around all of the potential allergens that gather in the home. Look out for mold, dust, pet dander, and fireplace smoke during the winter months.
If you deal with allergies, talk to your doctor about your symptoms. Together, you'll be able to narrow down the culprit and get ahead of it the next time that particular allergy season comes around.