Open Accessibility Menu

Sign up for Live Healthy eNewsletter here.

A User’s Guide to Fending Off Seasonal Allergies

A User’s Guide to Fending Off Seasonal Allergies

A User’s Guide to Fending Off Seasonal Allergies

We’re no strangers to beautiful landscapes and time spent outdoors here in Wyoming, but as spring rolls around, we’re also no strangers to seasonal allergies.

Our abundant plant life is also the source of many allergy triggers. This year, pollen counts have been in the red: between 9.7 and 12 on a 12-point scale. As willow, maple, elder and elm trees, grasses, and weeds bloom out in spring, pollen levels rise, causing allergy symptoms as the immune system tries to fight off the allergens. The good news? You can take steps to prevent seasonal allergies.

Wyoming’s Allergy Season

In Wyoming, our spring allergy season typically starts in late February or early March.

If you start experiencing seasonal allergy (also called hay fever or allergic rhinitis) symptoms fairly early each year, you may be allergic to tree pollen. Our trees tend to begin blooming at that time, continuing into late spring and even summer.

After the trees blossom, the grass begins to bloom, too. This seasonal event typically happens starting in April or May and continuing until July, and you’ll recognize the start of the grass pollen season by when you have to start mowing again.

Other allergens such as dust mites and mold can also flare up this time of year. The one-two punch of pollen and mold can leave you feeling pretty icky, sometimes feeling like you have a bad cold.

5 Steps for Keeping Seasonal Allergies at Bay

If you’re all too familiar with seasonal allergy symptoms like watery eyes and sneezing, your best defense is to begin treating seasonal allergies before they even begin. Try these strategies:

1. Find out what your allergy triggers are. If you experience severe allergy symptoms each year, ask your primary care provider for a referral to an allergy specialist. The specialist can perform skin tests to confirm what you’re allergic to and may suggest prescription medications or allergy shots.

2. Stock up your medicine cabinet. Talk with a medical provider or pharmacist about what preventive medications will work best for your specific allergy symptoms. There are a number of allergy medications available, including oral antihistamines and decongestants, eye drops, and steroid nasal sprays.

3. Keep the windows closed. It can be tempting to throw up the windows and let the air in when the weather warms up, but that lets the allergens inside. Keep windows and doors in your house and car closed, and use the air conditioning instead.

4. Check the pollen counts. Did you know you can check the pollen forecast in many weather apps? On days when the pollen count is high, you may want to stick with indoor activities instead of heading outside.

5. Treat your allergies before an allergic reaction. The best way to handle seasonal allergies is to head them off before they begin. Take an antihistamine or use a nasal spray regularly as the seasonal allergy season gets underway. This can help prevent allergy symptoms altogether.

If your allergies are particularly bad, you may also want to consider other prevention strategies, such as changing clothes after coming inside, leaving your shoes at the door, and wearing a mask when doing yard work.

Wondering whether your symptoms are caused by seasonal allergies? Find a provider who can help with a diagnosis and a treatment plan.