If you or your children struggle with allergies, it can seem like you never get relief. While one season may be an allergy-free time for one person, each person is affected by allergens differently.
At any given point during the year, an estimated 50 million people in the United States suffer from allergies. And allergies are increasing, affecting as many as 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children.
It’s important to know which allergens have the most effect on you and your family, so you can take steps to alleviate some of their symptoms.
Here’s your month-by-month guide to allergies:
- January: If you have indoor allergies, January is a rough month. Because people are turning the heat up in their house, house dust gets circulates more easily. To keep your allergies at bay, try to keep the humidity in your home below 55 percent, use dust-mite proof covers and use a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
- February: In some places, tree pollen allergens start to increase in February. The main culprits that are triggering your allergies are from elm, hickory, olive, pecan, sycamore and walnut trees.
- March: Cue your spring allergies! The pollen count is especially high in March, since trees and grasses are both starting to bloom.
- April: With April showers comes an increase in pollen allergens. Flowers and grass are blooming in full force, causing your symptoms to ramp up. Try to shower at night and leave your shoes outside the door so you don’t bring the allergens into your home.
- May: This is the biggest month for tree and flower pollen. Spring allergies usually last for four months, sometimes spilling into June. This can make May feel like a long month for allergy-prone people.
- June: June is the key month for grass pollen allergies. The severity of your allergies can depend on the temperature, rainfall amount and even the time of day. Try not to sleep with windows open at night to keep allergens out.
- July: Fungus spores and seeds really start to spread in July, making symptoms worse for those allergic to mold. Fallen leaves, grasses, grains and compost piles can be hidden targets for these allergens.
- August: Mold spores peak in hot and humid weather, making these allergies carry into August. Make sure to keep the air conditioning running with a HEPA filter during this hot month.
- September: With the fall season starting, September can be wet and windy. This leads to pollen, ragweed and grain allergens spreading easily.
- October: You may experience lingering symptoms from mold and other fall allergies. Plus, rain and wind can increase mold and fungi spores.
- November: November is most likely the best allergy-free month! Ragweed season is over and other outdoor allergies are starting to calm down. However, this is the time when indoor allergies come into play, especially from pet dander, dust and mold.
- December: One of the biggest culprits for winter allergies are Christmas trees, which can carry mold spores in their branches. If you can’t resist a real tree, leave it in the garage for a week and give it a good shake before putting it up.
Allergies can seem like a drag year-round, but knowing what causes your symptoms is the first step in preventing them!