You may have heard the phrase “allergy season is upon us”, but what exactly does that mean? When does allergy season start? Or, better yet, when does it end?
Read on to learn all you need to know about allergy season – including what you can expect throughout the year if you experience allergies, common allergy symptoms, and how you can best prepare for allergy season.
WHAT ARE SEASONAL ALLERGIES?
Seasonal allergies (also called hay fever or allergic rhinitis) are allergy symptoms that only occur at certain times of the year, usually when allergens like mold spores and different types of pollen from trees, grasses or weeds are released into the air.i
If you are allergic to mold spores or pollen – just as with other allergies such as dust or pet allergies – your immune system cells will treat these allergens as a threat, and react by releasing substances such as histamine into your bloodstream to help combat them.i This release of histamine can cause common allergy symptoms such as:ii
- Runny or stuffy nose (nasal congestion)
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Itchy mouth or skin
- Fatigue (often due to poor quality sleep as a result of nasal congestion)
You can develop seasonal allergies at almost any age, however they usually develop by around the age of 10 and peak around your early 20s. Symptoms can also often disappear later in life.i
WHEN IS ALLERGY SEASON?
It may surprise you to learn that there actually isn’t one allergy season. In fact, allergy season occurs all year round. Depending on what you’re allergic to, you may experience allergy symptoms at different times of the year to people who have other types of allergies.
Generally speaking, however, there are three ‘allergy seasons’ when certain outdoor allergens tend to be airborne in greater numbers: spring, summer, and fall.