Anywhere with plants is bound to have some type of allergy season, and with the near limitless number of trees that the state of Vermont has, allergy season can be a struggle! Each state generally has its own allergy season and peak times, including Vermont. Today, we are going to look at the Vermont allergy season and discover its peak, general timelines, and a few other important elements to remember when dealing with the sniffles this season. Let’s get started (don’t forget to bring the tissues)!
Allergy Periods in Vermont
Allergy season in Vermont can be an itchy time for many Vermonters as the state’s somewhat milder climates from spring to fall provide ideal circumstances for bad allergies. However, with how harsh and cold the winters are, there isn’t a pollen season during the colder season (thankfully). Generally, the allergy season starts early March and lasts until the first ice in winter, although this can be variable. The most common seasonal allergy symptoms include itchy and watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, congestion, and even general lethargy as your body “fights” off an intruder that isn’t there.
It’s important to note that there is always some variability in allergy season because it all depends on the weather conditions each year. A warmer winter can lead to an earlier allergy season, while a harsher spring can do the opposite and hold it off. Vermonters with allergies should generally be prepared for the worst to hit throughout the spring, and summer, tapering into the cooler fall months. Still, it’s always best to pay attention to local pollen counts for the most accurate information by city and county.
The Plants that Cause Allergies in Vermont
Vermont is known for its picturesque landscapes, but for many residents, the beauty of the state’s plants can also be a source of allergy symptoms. Different plants cause allergies at different times of the year, so it’s important to know what to expect and when.
In the summer, grass allergies are the most likely to cause issues for Vermont residents. The most common of these allergy triggers in Vermont include ryegrass and timothy, vernal, bent, orchard, fescue, and prairie grasses, with fescue likely being the most common. This season generally starts in May and ends when August rolls around.
Fall means weed allergies in Vermont. The most common culprits for this season includes ragweed, wormwood, orache, and amaranth, although ragweed is the most (in)famous of them all. These weeds release their pollen during this season to the tune of a billion pollen molecules per plant, causing a LOT of issues.
Spring is generally the worst allergy season for Vermonters because of the heavy tree allergens. Some common trees that cause allergies in Vermont include oak, birch, maple, ash, hickory, cedar, mulberry, and willow. These trees release pollen during this season, and tree allergies are famous for being quite severe.
It’s important to note that the dates of allergy season will always vary depending on the weather conditions each year. Still, by being aware of the common allergens in each season and their peak timing, allergy sufferers better manage symptoms.
Why Does the Northeast Have Bad Allergy Seasons?
While the south is generally known to have the worst allergy seasons, at least by length, the northeast doesn’t slack off! In fact, the 10 worst places to live if you have allergies are:
- Scranton, PA
- Wichita, KS
- McAllen, TX
- Richmond, VA
- San Antonio, TX
- Oklahoma City, OK
- Hartford, CT
- Buffalo, NY
- New Haven, CT
- Albany, NY
If you notice, many of these places are either DIRECTLY next to Vermont, or in the same general region. The reason? Well, the diverse seasons in the Northeast play a significant role in the prevalence of allergies, as it allows for a specific time for vegetation to bloom, with many plants blooming simultaneously. This results in a sudden surge of pollen in the spring. The region is also known to have a high concentration of trees that are heavy pollen producers, like pine, juniper, and oak. Additionally, the common presence of wind and rain in the spring months allows for the release of allergens on a regular basis, worsening allergy symptoms. Altogether, it can add up to quite a snotty time for allergy sufferers.
The Best Allergy Treatments
There are several ways to treat allergies. Medications such as antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal sprays can help to alleviate symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, and nasal congestion. Allergy shots (immunotherapy) are another option that can help to reduce the severity of allergic reactions over time by gradually increasing the tolerance to the allergen.
One of the best methods for home use is to get a good set of HEPA filters. These filters are designed to capture tiny particles that are much smaller than pollen particles. Using these filters in your home’s heating and cooling unit, as well as using them in a portable air purifier, is a great way to limit exposure within the home, especially in the rooms where you hang out the most.
Allergen avoidance is also an effective way to prevent allergy symptoms by avoiding any contact with their trigger. This usually means staying inside high pollen count days (check your news networks for that information) and keeping windows and doors closed when possible. Also, avoid anything that causes exposure to allergens, like playing outside in the grass or yard work. It’s also important to clean as often as you can, especially during the peak seasons for your worst allergies.
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The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/vermontalm
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