If you are an allergy sufferer, then you are familiar with the symptoms: runny or stuffy nose, itchy eyes or nose, or post-nasal drip.
Severe allergies can lead to sinus infections, sinus headache, and fatigue. Also, allergies can contribute to asthma, characterized by shortness of breath or breathing difficulties, tightness in the chest, and/or a cough.
A high pollen count often leads to more severe allergy and asthma symptoms.
Now that we’re well into Spring and many ornamental trees and shrubs have bloomed, you might think that the bulk of allergy season is behind us. Well, not so fast -- here in Cincinnati we essentially have three allergy “seasons” to deal with:
The first “season” is tree pollen which arrives in late winter and spring and includes Oak, Maple, Birch, Hickory, Sycamore Elm, and many others. This would also include the flowering ornamentals such as Pear, Eastern Redbud, and Dogwood, to name a few.
The second “season” is grasses and arrives in spring and early summer. Timothy, Fescue, Rye, Bluegrass, and Bermuda are a few of these.
The third “season” is weeds, which runs from summer into early fall. Ragweed, Pigweed, Cocklebur, and Plantain would be included in this list, among others.
Here in early May, Cincinnati is in the middle stage of tree pollen, but we are in the early stage of grass pollen.
One look at your patio or deck furniture will tell you there is plenty of pollen floating around. The magnitude of pollen depends on many factors, but winter snow accumulation and warm spring temperatures play a big role.
Ragweed season is much more predictable. It begins in mid-August and runs until the first hard freeze in fall.
If you are an allergy sufferer, unfortunately, you have a long road ahead. It appears that the only season where you might find some relief is winter.