How Does Weather Influence Your Allergies?

Weather determines if seeds will sprout, if flowers will bloom and where pollen will spread, so it can play a major role in aggravating the symptoms of allergy sufferers.

“The best weather for allergy sufferers depends on what you are allergic to,” said Dr. Cristina Porch-Curren, fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology and the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Coastal Allergy Care.

The best weather for allergy sufferers is a cooler day with rain or right after rain. The cooler weather will not allow plants to grow as quickly as a warmer day.

However, a dry weather pattern a few days after a rainfall can cause an increase in pollen. These conditions will perk up the plants and allow them to produce pollen, especially in the peak season for particular pollen-producing plants.

“For pollen, the best weather is during a rain. This is because the rain pulls the pollen out of the air and gives a bit of relief. However if the rain is followed by dry, sunny days the pollen counts will increase,” Porch-Curren said.

Wet weather will wash the pollen out of the air, but only temporarily because it helps plants grow. Windy weather can spread pollen from areas several miles away, or even hundreds of miles away.

“Typically dry, windy weather in the middle of a ‘pollen’ season stirs up and blows the pollen all over and also brings up mold spores. This type of weather really triggers symptoms for many individuals,” Porch-Curren said.

Also, Porch-Currens said if you have a mold or dust mite allergy these counts may increase with humid and wet surroundings.

“Mold spores are often another thing the people don’t really account for, but they can be just as bad as other allergens. But the biggest one is dust mites as they are an indoor allergen, and really can be found anytime people are in homes,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alan Reppert said.

“Some people are allergic to only one thing, such as trees, so early season pollen is much worse for them. By the time weed pollen becomes dominate, tree pollen is nearly zero, allowing much easier times for those without grass or weed pollen. [It’s the] same for someone only allergic to grass or weeds being out in the different seasons,” Reppert said.

According to Reppert, the best conditions are typically anywhere hot and dry, so Las Vegas, Phoenix, even into the inland parts of Southern California is better for allergy sufferers. While people can experience symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose and itchy, red or watery eyes due to the dust and dust mites there, the lack of plants growing there will help to keep pollen levels much lower.

The worst time of year for allergy sufferers is typically spring. The pollen starts in the south and pushes northward due to warmer weather allowing allergy-producing plants to grow.

“The spring brings peak tree pollen, grass is highest in the summer, then the late summer into fall is weed pollen. These are the times that the pollens are mostly being produced,” Reppert said.

Outside of winter, early spring or late fall are often the best times for allergy sufferers.

According to Reppert, the only true end to the season comes as the fall and winter comes and freezes the plants. Until then, pollen will continue to be around, either from trees, grass or weeds.

However, when weather turns colder in the fall and winter, people with indoor allergies like dust can experience worsening symptoms, according to Reppert.


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