SEXY TIME FOR TREES MAKES ME SNEEZE!

I have been fighting with thick pine pollen for the last month and am not sure but I think it’s winning the battle! 

I wash it off my car, hose it off my drive, pull my screens off and clear them of the yellow dust clinging to them.

With all of that pollen I know my VentMask filters were working overtime to keep it outta my home, but guess what….that’s probably not what’s clogging your airways, making your nose run and causing your eyes to itch. The belief that pine pollen can trigger allergic reactions in people is disputed by some experts, they argue pine pollen is too big to permeate the nasal membrane. However, researchers have shown that key proteins from pine pollen can penetrate the nasal membrane to trigger a reaction.

BUT that grainy yellow dust is a “marker” — its presence on your vehicle signals the arrival of other pollens filling the air which are WORSE triggers for your allergies!

Here in Utah and probably any other pollen drenched state you may be able to avoid a particular plant that is proliferus, but odds are your body will find some other plant, mold or pet dander to react to wherever you go. So knowing that allergies are impossible to avoid completely, being informed is the next best thing for alleviating your suffering! It is most likely that not one but several allergens are the culprits causing your misery. Trees pollinate between February and May. These pollens ease off just in time for grasses to start spreading their pollen. Grass allergies are the worst between May and July. Just when those pollen counts start to decrease, weeds take over. Weeds can aggravate allergy symptoms from July until, as previously mentioned, the first hard frost. This is generally sometime in late October or November. Added to this problem may be dust allergies, mold allergies and allergies to pet dander.

The trees most notorious for causing allergy problems in the Western United States, including Utah, are the Ash, Cottonwood, Birch, Walnut, Juniper, Acacia, Mesquite, Alder, Box Elder, Mulberry, Sycamore, Elm, Cypress, Oak and Maple. According to a report in KSLnews.com, Cedar is the most potent tree allergy in Utah. As a general rule, the brighter the plant, the less likely it is to be causing your allergy.

 Utah's worse allergy offender...The Cedar!

Utah's worse allergy offender...The Cedar!

 CottonWood tree trying to make another CottonWood Tree!

CottonWood tree trying to make another CottonWood Tree!

 Ash...lovely to behold, not so lovely for my nose!

Ash...lovely to behold, not so lovely for my nose!

If you are lucky enough to be unaffected by the trees, you may need to try avoiding grasses instead. The top allergy causing grasses in Utah are Bermuda grass, Meadow fescue, Brome, Orchard grass, Wild oat, Timothy, Red top, Johnson and Rye. Fortunately, according to Conservewater.utah.gov, Kentucky Bluegrass is the most common type of lawn grass in Utah and is not on the list of the most highly allergenic.

 Meadow Fescue grass

Meadow Fescue grass

 Bermuda grass

Bermuda grass

After surviving the tree season and the grass season, you still have to endure weed season, which as mentioned, will last until about the end of October or first of November. The most problematic weeds in Utah are Ragweed, False Ragweed, Pigweed, Careless weed, Sagebrush, Tumbleweed, Cocklebur, Yellow dock, Marsh elder and Lambs quarter.

 Sage Brush

Sage Brush

 Rag Weed

Rag Weed

Pollen counts, the average number of pollen grains per cubic meter of air, are generally given on the news, often during the weather reports. As a general rule, pollen counts are higher on warm, dry, breezy mornings. They are lower during cool or rainy days. Knowing the pollen count may be somewhat beneficial in avoiding allergy symptoms. A high pollen count indicates that most people with plant allergies are at risk of symptoms. A medium pollen count would indicate that in general most people with sensitivity would be affected. A low pollen count means that only those who are the most sensitive will have a problem.

Utah is a beautiful state and enjoys a wide variety of greenery. We are fortunate to have such variety. However this variety leads to a variety of allergen producing pollens.

Don’t let the trees and grass “getting busy” slow you down!

Take advantage of the great outdoors like I do by using antihistamines butalso be very proactive in keeping those allergens out of your home with good HVAC filters and VentMask filters to stop what the main filters miss. VentMask filters also catch what may be built up in the ducting that the main filtration unit cannot.