AccuWeather 2019 US spring allergy forecast
By Jillian MacMath, AccuWeather staff writer
March 20, 2019, 10:22:37 AM EDT
Though winter is just coming to a close across the United States, allergy season is already underway for many.
Tree pollen is reaching high levels in much of the southern Plains and Southeast - with the worst yet to come for both regions.
“Pollen levels will continue to get worse as the weeks go by,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Alan Reppert said.
“From the Gulf Coast through Kentucky and southern Virginia, grass pollen levels will climb to very high levels in April and May thanks to warm air and ample moisture,” he added.
A similar situation will unfold in the central Plains and into the Northeast, where heavy rainfall and snow during fall and winter have kept the ground moist.
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“This will provide the trees and grass with ample water, leading to a high pollen season in these areas,” Reppert said.
However, both the Northeast and Midwest will get off to a cool start, postponing the onset of allergy symptoms.
“The start of pollen season may be delayed a week or two in both regions, but the pollen looks to come out quite fast and strong from April into May,” he said.
How to prevent spring allergy symptoms
The spring season can be a tough few months for allergy sufferers who face constant sneezing, itchy eyes and even headaches.
But there's plenty you can do to ward off symptoms so you can back back to enjoying the warm weather and fresh flowers.
“Allergic reactions can occur anytime, anyplace, anywhere, and being prepared is always the most important thing,” Dr. Jaison Jose, an allergist with Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania told AccuWeather.
Here are four ways you can keep your symptoms at bay:
1. Stay inside in the morning
"Pollen counts are highest in the early morning, between 5 and 10 a.m.," Robert Sporter, M.D. at ENT & Allergy Associates in New York City, told AccuWeather.
The best time to go outside is right after a heavy rain, as it washes the pollen out of the air.
2. Keep indoor air clean
Close house and car windows when pollen counts are high. Use air conditioning in the car and at home to filter the pollen out of the air.
The Mayo Clinic suggests using a portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter in your bedroom and vacuuming often.
3. Avoid certain foods
Some people with severe pollen allergies may have trouble eating raw and fresh fruit.
"For example, some patients very allergic to birch tree pollen get an itchy mouth when they eat fresh apples, but cooked apples, like in apple pie, don't cause symptoms," Sporter said.
4. Carry an allergy relief kit
Inexpensive over-the-counter items such as antihistamines, eye drops, nasal spray and decongestants can help make the season a more pleasant experience.
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