Spring and summer is a hard time of year for those who suffer from seasonal allergies. It’s especially hard for someone who wants to spend time outside doing yard work or who just enjoys being outside in the warm weather. What could be in your own backyard that could be making your allergies flare up and making you feel plain miserable?

Some of the most common environmental allergies that people encounter when they go outside are trees, grass, weeds, mold, and animals.

1) Trees – Tree pollens that trigger allergies tend to be very fine and powdery and the wind can carry them for miles. Some of the most common trees that set off allergies around this area are: Ash, Birch, Box Elder, Cottonwood, American Elm, Juniper, Maple, Mulberry, Oak, Sycamore, and Willow. People with tree pollen allergies sometimes assume that trees with colorful flowers — like apple or cherry trees — will trigger their symptoms. Flowering trees usually have bigger, stickier pollen that doesn't blow in the wind or cause symptoms.

2) Weeds – Weed pollen is abundant from late summer to early fall. Mid-September, when pollen levels peak, is particularly bad. You’ll be most affected by weed pollen on dry, hot, windy days when these airborne particles are at their worst. Certain pollens — such as ragweed — can even survive through the winter and play havoc with immune systems year-round. Some of the most common weed allergens in this region are Ragweed, Alfalfa, Dock weed, Kochia, Lamb’s Quarters, Pigweed, Rabbit Bush, Russian thistle, or sagebrush among others.

3) Grass – Grasses tend to start growing in the early spring. In the late spring and early summer, they release pollen into the air. Similar to other allergens, the wind can carry it for miles. Wind carries pollen in the air, especially when it’s dry and sunny. When it’s cold or damp, pollen counts are usually lower. Most types of grass release pollen only when they grow tall. The pollen comes from a feathery flower that grows at the top. If you keep your lawn mowed, it's less likely to release pollen. But Bermuda grass and some other types can still release the sneezy stuff even if you keep it short. Some of the most common grass allergies are Bermuda, Kentucky Blue Grass, Timothy Grass, and Johnson Grass.

4) Molds – If you have an allergy that occurs over several seasons, you may be allergic to the spores of molds or other fungi. Molds live everywhere. Upsetting a mold source can send the spores into the air. Mold and mildew are fungi. They are different from plants or animals in how they reproduce and grow. The “seeds,” called spores, travel through the air. Some spores spread in dry, windy weather. Others spread with the fog or dew when humidity is high. Outdoor molds may cause allergy symptoms in summer and fall (or year-round in some climates) and indoor molds may cause allergy symptoms year-round. Some common molds are Alternaria, Aspergillus, Cladosporium, and Penicillium.

5) Animals – If you have pets or even live around an area with cats, dogs, and horses, you could be experiencing allergies when you go outside. Many people think that pet allergy is provoked by the fur of cats and dogs. But researchers have found that the major allergens are proteins secreted by oil glands in the animals' skin and shed in dander as well as proteins in the saliva, which sticks to the fur when the animal licks itself. Urine is also a source of allergy-causing proteins. When the substance carrying the proteins dries, the proteins can then float into the air. This means you don’t even have to have direct exposure to the animals to experience symptoms.

If going outside into your yard is making you miserable because of allergy symptoms, contact your doctor or see an allergist for ways to help you feel better so you can enjoy the great outdoors.

 

References

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=20275

http://www.aafa.org/page/mold-allergy.aspx

http://www.webmd.com/allergies/tree-pollen- allergy

https://www.zyrtec.com/allergy-guide/outdoor- allergies/weed-pollen- allergies

http://www.webmd.com/allergies/grass-pollen- allergy

http://www.healthline.com/health/allergies/pollen-library