The Most Common Allergies for Any Season
Changing seasons can bring much-needed shifts in weather, opening new opportunities for recreation and a new point of view. Unfortunately, they also open the door for different allergens, with each season introducing its own way to make eyes itch and noses run. Allergies aren't always easy to avoid, but knowing what you're up against may help you protect yourself from the worst of their effects.
A Common Concern
Nearly one-fifth of people in the U.S. are affected by seasonal allergies, according to Healthline, which are caused when the body's immune system reacts too strongly to a foreign particle, such as pet dander or pollen. Allergies in the spring, summer and fall tend to come from plants with pollen that hangs the longest in the air, while winter allergies mostly come from indoor sources, such as mold and dust, because people stay in more and plants aren't as active.
Spring and Summer
Trees contribute the most to allergies in the spring. Birch is the most common offender, affecting up to 20 percent of people with allergies, according to Healthline. However, cedar, willow and poplar trees also cause their share of problems. In the summer, grass takes over the heaviest allergy duty. Up to 90 percent of people with allergies are sensitive to grass pollen, which makes it the most potent allergen around.
Fall is ragweed season, according to Everyday Health. Plenty of other weeds cause problems for people with allergies in the fall, but none as much as ragweed. According to the source, one plant can produce one billion allergy-inducing grains of pollen each fall, enough to send scores of people reaching for the tissues. Mold can also thrive in the leaves that coat the ground in many parts of the country, making it another major fall hazard.
By winter, most allergen-producing plants have taken a break, but that doesn't mean that your allergy woes are over. Dust mites, pet dander and mold make up the bulk of winter allergens, according to Healthline. Since people are most likely spending their time indoors during this season, allergies from these sources may be difficult to escape. There are solutions, however. An air purifier with a HEPA-type filter, such as the Holmes® True HEPA Allergen Remover, can trap nearly all dust, dander, mold and pollen particles. That means that whatever the season, you have a solution to reduce the amount of irritants you breathe, at least as long as you're inside.