DENVER (KDVR) — The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America ranks Denver as one of the least-challenging places to live when it comes to allergies.
Still, doctors said the windy weather can whip up pollen leading to allergy symptoms, and the season has arrived when symptoms could be the worst.
Trees are pollinating now and allergy season is here. Dr. Flavia Hoyte, an allergist from National Jewish Health, said we won’t see any kind of relief from it until our first frost, usually in November.
“Without wind, you don’t have as much pollen and with a lot of wind, the pollen blows everywhere,” Hoyte said. Everywhere might also include your ears, nose and throat.
“The first symptoms people will generally feel are eye symptoms and nose symptoms,” Hoyte said.
The symptoms might feel like a viral infection, Hoyte said. Think COVID-19 or the flu, but knowing the difference could give you some peace of mind.
“Are people around you sick? If you’re having fevers, chills,” Hoyte said. These are symptoms you’ll associate with a viral infection as opposed to allergies.
If you can, avoid the outdoors on days when pollen will get whipped around.
“I think the windier days, generally trying to spend less time outside as possible or windier parts of the day, maybe, trying to avoid those times of day,” Hoyte said.
If you are outside, the pollen can follow you in your car or home. To avoid this, Hoyte said to de-pollenate yourself.
“That often involves changing your clothes, sometimes showering even, using a nasal irrigation where you get the pollen out of your nose,” Hoyte said.
While Denver isn’t high on the list of cities with the worst allergy seasons, folks who just moved here might not immediately manifest symptoms.
“There is something called the honeymoon period, so when you move to a new place, it takes time to develop sensitization to the allergens in this new place,” Hoyte said.
Your body could take its time acclimating to a new city, Hoyte said, even developing allergies you didn’t know you had.
“Sometimes people do really discover, gradually in their second or third year in Colorado, or anywhere that they’re starting to have symptoms,” Hoyte said.
The wet and muggy weather of the last few days is both good and bad for your allergies. Hoyte said while the rain flattens the pollen to ground, it does fuel growth, so it’s a temporary relief.
Hoyte advised to rely on medications both prescribed and over the counter, for direct relief.
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