New Jersey is generally known to be one of the better eastern states for allergy sufferers, but that doesn’t necessarily mean allergy sufferers will have zero symptoms! New Jersey, just like much of the east coast, has a distinct allergy season with various peaks, causing runny noses and itchy eyes for many.
Today, we will look at the New Jersey allergy season to determine its peak, timeline, and general symptoms. Additionally, we will explore the plants that cause these symptoms, plus some ways to treat allergies. Let’s get started!
The New Jersey Allergy Season
The New Jersey allergy season typically begins in mid-February. It lasts until things begin to freeze in winter, with the worst months for allergies being April, May, June, and September. These are the months when trees, grass, and weed pollens peak. However, the state’s proximity to the ocean can provide some relief for residents of coastal cities and towns. The ocean breeze can help remove pollen from the air, providing a reprieve from symptoms for those who suffer from seasonal allergies, making New Jersey a relatively mild state regarding allergies.
Common outdoor allergy symptoms include sneezing, itching, runny nose, and watery eyes. These symptoms can be caused by exposure to pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds. Some people may also experience nasal congestion and a scratchy throat. An allergic reaction can cause hives, swelling, and difficulty breathing in more severe cases, particularly for asthma sufferers. It’s important for people with allergies to take preventative measures, many of which we will discuss below.
The Plants that Cause Allergies (by Season)
Spring is the start of allergy season in New Jersey, with trees and their pollen being the primary cause of allergies. This season can begin as early as mid-February and last until May, depending on the tree species. Some common tree allergies in New Jersey are triggered by oak, hickory, ash, walnut, cedar, privet, willow, and mulberry trees. Tree pollen is usually regarded as some of the finest, meaning it can easily be blown around by the wind and blanket entire regions, causing widespread allergies. For many, tree pollen causes the worst symptoms of the entire allergy season.
New Jersey Allergy Season: Summer
As the season progresses into summer, grass pollen becomes the main cause of trouble. Grass allergy season usually begins in May, peaks in June, and ends around August when things cool off. The most common grass species that cause allergies in New Jersey include timothy, bent, corn, sweet vernal, fescue, orchard, and brome.
The fall rhymes with weed pollen season, among the worst in New Jersey. This season starts in August and stops when the first cold or frost period manifests. Some common weed allergies in New Jersey include ragweed, lamb’s quarter, wormwood, and orache. Among the weeds, few are as well-known or infamous as ragweed, with a single plant releasing over 1 billion pollen particles into the air over the course of one season. Generally, the blankets of pollen that sometimes occur on cars and windows can be attributed to ragweed.
New Jersey Allergy Season: Winter
Winter is a generally calm period for seasonal allergy sufferers. Unfortunately, those with indoor allergies know winter is usually quite bad. Indoor allergens like dust, smoke, dirt, pet dander, mold, and more, are all at all-time highs during the cold months. In addition, with the colder weather, people spend more time indoors. The result is a higher exposure level to indoor irritants, which can cause issues.
The Best Allergy Remedies
Over-the-counter options such as antihistamines and nasal sprays can help alleviate symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes. Often, these can be taken daily (with a doctor’s recommendation), and certain combinations can be extremely effective in treating seasonal allergies.
One of the best ways to manage allergies is to avoid the allergens that trigger your symptoms. This can include staying indoors on high pollen days (consult local news or weather networks), closing windows and doors to keep pollen out of the house, and avoiding outdoor activities during peak allergy season.
Keep the inside of your home clean by vacuuming and dusting regularly. If cleaning causes issues, wearing a mask can help reduce allergen exposure. Also, showering before bed and washing bedding in hot water can help reduce the number of allergens on your skin and in your bed. Filters and air purifiers are a great addition to houses to help with air quality.
Allergy shots, also known as immunotherapy, can help reduce sensitivity to certain allergens over time. This therapy involves receiving regular injections of small amounts of the allergen, which can help build immunity and reduce the severity of symptoms.
Some people find relief from symptoms by using home remedies such as a neti pot to rinse away allergens from the nasal passages or taking a warm bath with Epsom salts to relieve nasal congestion. Additionally, consuming local honey can also help build immunity against local pollen.
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