Connecticut Allergy Season: Peak, Timing, and Symptoms

Written by Drew Wood
Updated: April 21, 2023
Share on:

Advertisement


Allergies are a common problem that many people experience, including residents and visitors to Connecticut. During Connecticut allergy season, residents may experience sneezing, itchy eyes, and a runny nose due to allergens in the air. These allergens can include pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds, and mold and dust mites.

In this article, we discuss the peak timing of Connecticut’s allergy season, as well as the most common symptoms. We also provide tips on how to manage and prevent allergy symptoms. This way, you can enjoy the beautiful Connecticut weather without being held back by allergies. And if you have pets, we’ve got your back. We give you a few tips for preventing, recognizing, and treating your pet’s allergy symptoms.

Yantic Falls Connecticut

Keeping your allergies under control can let you explore Connecticut’s natural beauty without feeling miserable.

70,211 People Couldn't Ace This Quiz

Think You Can?

©iStock.com/Colette Driscoll Long

What are Allergies?

Allergies happen when your body’s immune system reacts to allergens. These include pollen, animal dander, insect stings, or certain foods or chemicals. Allergies create annoying symptoms like sneezing, coughing, itchy red eyes, rashes, hives, and other symptoms. They can make asthma symptoms worse and attacks more frequent. Other complications can include sinusitis – an inflammation of the sinuses – ear infections or skin infections. The worst-case scenario is anaphylaxis, in which a severely allergic person reacts with restricted breathing and lowered blood pressure. This can be fatal.

Woman with allergy symptoms

Allergies are the result of an overactive immune system responding to allergens. Knowing when allergy season peaks can help you be prepared.

©iStock.com/zdravinjo

When is Connecticut Allergy Season?

Connecticut’s climate is considered “humid continental,” which means warm summers and cold winters. Forests in Connecticut are deciduous, with oak, maple, and birch among the most common species. There are some coniferous forests as well. At the lower elevations near the coast are wetlands and salt marshes. Here are the peaks of some of the most common allergens in Connecticut.

  • Early spring is tree pollen season, which peaks in April and May. Oak, birch, and maple are the main culprits.
  • Late spring, especially June and July, is grass pollen season. Bermuda, timothy, and orchard grass are some of the local species.
  • From late summer until the first frost, ragweed pollinates. It peaks in August and September.
  • All year round, mold, dust mites, and pet dander can aggravate allergies indoors.

From year to year and even day to day, Connecticut allergy season can differ in its timing and severity. Much depends on the weather conditions, such as temperature, humidity, wind velocity and direction, and more. Particularly dry years can enable more pollen to become airborne and travel further distances. At times of greater precipitation, molds flourish and release more allergy-provoking spores.

Connecticut’s deciduous forests reach their peak pollination in April and May.

©Eleassar777 / CC BY-SA 3.0 – License

Ways to Test for Allergies

There are several ways to test for allergies, including:

  1. Skin prick test: This is the most common type of allergy test. A small amount of an allergen is placed on the skin, usually on the arm or back. Then the skin is pricked with a small needle. If you are allergic to the substance, a red, raised bump (called a wheal) will appear at the test site.
  2. Blood test: A blood test called the RAST (radioallergosorbent test) can measure the levels of specific antibodies. These are associated with allergies. This test can be useful for people who are unable to have a skin test or who have severe eczema.
  3. Patch test: A patch test is used to test for allergies to substances that come into contact with the skin. These include nickel and poison ivy. A small patch containing the allergen is applied to the skin and left in place for 48 hours. If you are allergic to the substance, redness, itching, or a rash will appear at the test site.

A positive test result for an allergen only means that you have developed antibodies to that allergen. It does not predict the severity of symptoms you may experience. Also, some people may test positive for an allergen but never experience symptoms. On the other hand, a negative test result does not necessarily rule out an allergy. Sometimes, skin tests and blood tests may be negative, but a person may still have an allergic reaction.

Allergy Test

In a skin test, an allergist puts small samples of allergens on your skin to see which of them create reactions.

©Microgen/Shutterstock.com

Allergy Symptoms Without Allergies

So, what if you have allergy symptoms but your test results say you’re not allergic to anything? It’s possible that the test only checks for the most common allergies. You might need another test to check for less common allergies. But it’s also possible that you don’t have an allergy at all. Instead, you might have something called non-allergic rhinitis.

Non-allergic rhinitis is when you have symptoms, but they’re not caused by an allergy. Many things can cause this. These include a cold, being around smoke or strong scents, changes in hormones, or even some medicines. Sometimes, the shape of your nose can also cause non-allergic rhinitis. A medical professional can diagnose this by doing tests to make sure you don’t have an allergy. Treatments can include taking medicine like antihistamines, decongestants, or nasal sprays. Avoid things that make it worse. In some cases, a person may need surgical intervention to fix issues with the shape of your nose.

Allergy sufferer

Some people have allergy symptoms without a known allergen, but these symptoms often still respond to antihistamines and decongestions.

©iStock.com/frantic00

Preventing and Treating Allergies

The first way to combat allergies is to avoid allergens. Keeping track of high pollen days announced in local media or online can help you plan your activities to avoid going outside as much on those days. You might also want to wear a mask when you go outside and shower and change clothes after spending time outdoors during peak pollen season. You’ll want to keep your house clean of dust, pollen, and pet dander with frequent vacuuming and dusting. Keeping your windows shut and using air conditioning and an air purifier can help filter allergens out of your home’s air. You can help alleviate dust mite allergies by washing bedding in hot water. If pet dander bothers you, consider restricting your pets to particular areas of the house and asking other family members to take on pet care responsibilities.

Medical interventions can include using antihistamines, decongestants, or nasal sprays. It can help to start taking these proactively before allergy season gets to its worst. If allergies severely interfere with your life, you might want to invest in immunotherapy, which involves receiving periodic injections of small amounts of allergens to help your body build up immunity.

Allergy Season

Preventing allergy symptoms includes limiting time outdoors on high pollen days and keeping your home’s environment as clean as possible.

©Chad Robertson Media/Shutterstock.com

Best Over-The-Counter Allergy Treatments

Many people medicate mild to moderate allergy symptoms themselves with over-the-counter medications. Antihistamines and decongestants can be safe and effective, but generic versions of brand-name medications can perform just as well at a fraction of the cost. Check out the links below to some generics that have the same active ingredients as some popular allergy medications.

Amazon Basic Care Loratadine Antihistamine
  • Long-lasting relief from allergy symptoms
  • Non-drowsy formula
  • Active ingredient is the antihistamine Loratadine (10 mg)
  • 24-hour allergy relief
Check Amazon
ValuMeds 24-Hour Allergy Medicine
  • 24-hour allergy relief
  • Works for pollen, hay fever, dry eyes, itchy eyes
  • Main ingredient is Cetirizine HCl
Check Amazon
ValuMeds Antihistamine, Diphenhydramine HCl 25 mg
  • 600 tablets
  • Active ingredient: Diphenhydramine HCl 25 mg
  • Suitable for Children and Adults
  • Relieves Itchy Eyes, Runny Nose, Sneezing


Check Amazon
HealthCareAisle Allergy Relief - Fexofenadine Hydrochloride
  • Active ingredient: Fexofenadine Hydrochloride
  • 90 tablets of 180 mg
  • Non-Drowsy
  • 24-Hour Allergy Relief


Check Amazon

What if Your Pet Has Allergies?

Pets can get allergies just like people do. Some common types of allergies in pets are food allergies, environmental allergies, and flea allergies. Symptoms of allergies in pets can vary but some common ones include itching, scratching, biting or licking their skin, losing hair, having red or irritated skin, respiratory problems, diarrhea, or vomiting. Treating pet allergies might require medication, dietary or environmental changes, or even immunotherapy.

Cat licking its paws

Cats, dogs, and other pets can have some of the same allergies as people. One of the signs to watch out for is obsessive grooming.

©Fayzulin Serg/Shutterstock.com

Can Pets Take Human Allergy Medicine?

Some human allergy medicines are safe and effective for pets, but not all. Some can be toxic, and some that might work for dogs can be toxic to cats. It’s essential to consult with your veterinarian about the right diagnosis and dosing for your pet based on its species, other medical conditions, size, and weight. We hope this article will help you be aware and prepared to handle allergy season in Connecticut for you, your family, and your pets.

spay a dog at petsmart

Consult with your vet to know whether your pet has an allergy and the best way to treat it.

©SeventyFour/Shutterstock.com

The photo featured at the top of this post is © LEE SNIDER PHOTO IMAGES/Shutterstock.com


Share on:
About the Author

Drew Wood is a writer at A-Z Animals focusing on mammals, geography, and world cultures. Drew has worked in research and writing for over 20 years and holds a Masters in Foreign Affairs (1992) and a Doctorate in Religion (2009). A resident of Nebraska, Drew enjoys Brazilian jiu-jitsu, movies, and being an emotional support human to four dogs.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Can pets take human allergy medicines?

Some human allergy medicines are safe and effective for pets, but not all. Some can be toxic, and some that might work for dogs can be toxic to cats. It’s essential to consult with your veterinarian about the right diagnosis and dosing for your pet based on its species, other medical conditions, size, and weight.

Can pets get allergies? How can you tell?

Pets can get allergies just like people do. Some common types of allergies in pets are food allergies, environmental allergies, and flea allergies. Symptoms of allergies in pets can vary but some common ones include itching, scratching, biting or licking their skin, losing hair, having red or irritated skin, respiratory problems, diarrhea, or vomiting. Treating pet allergies might require medication, dietary or environmental changes, or even immunotherapy.

What does it mean if you have allergy symptoms but test negative for allergies?

One possibility is non-allergenic rhinitis. Non-allergic rhinitis is when you have symptoms like a runny nose, stuffiness, and sneezing, but it’s not caused by an allergy. It can be caused by a lot of things like getting a cold, being around smoke or strong scents (such as perfumes, cleaning supplies, or fumes), changes in hormones, or even some medicines. Sometimes, the shape of your nose can also cause non-allergic rhinitis.

What are some possible medical complications of allergies?

Allergies can make asthma symptoms worse and attacks more frequent. Other complications can include sinusitis – an inflammation of the sinuses – ear infections or skin infections. The worst-case scenario is anaphylaxis, in which a severely allergic person reacts to an allergen with restricted breathing and lowered blood pressure, which can be fatal.

What do positive or negative allergy test results mean?

A positive test result for an allergen only means that you have developed antibodies to that allergen and it does not predict the severity of symptoms you may experience. Also, some people may test positive for an allergen but never experience symptoms. On the other hand, a negative test result does not necessarily rule out an allergy. Sometimes, skin tests and blood tests may be negative, but a person may still have an allergic reaction.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.