Regional Allergies: U.S. Rocky Mountains

Information on the causes of regional allergies in the U.S. Rocky Mountains and US Rocky Mountain allergy symptoms.

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    1. What are Regional Allergies?
    2. Common Allergens in U.S. Rocky Mountains Region
    3. Symptoms of U.S. Rocky Mountains Regional Allergies
    4. Diagnosing U.S. Rocky Mountains Regional Allergies
    5. Treatment for U.S. Rocky Mountains Regional Allergies

    What are Regional Allergies?

    Regional allergies vary depending on the part of the country you live in. Different regions contain different plants and trees that pollinate at different times of the year. The more you know about allergens common to your area and when they are the most troublesome, the easier it is to prevent and treat the associated symptoms.

    The Rocky Mountains region includes several states – Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Wyoming and Nevada. This region is home to several allergy-inducing trees that pollinate in the early spring and grasses and weeds that release pollen throughout the summer and fall. 

    Common Allergens in U.S. Rocky Mountains Region

    Trees that cause the most allergy-related issues in the Rocky Mountains region are cedar, elder, juniper and oak.

    Grasses and weeds pollinate throughout the summer and fall. Bermuda grass and orchard release pollen until late in July. Ragweed is the biggest allergy producer in the fall, releasing much of its pollen in the morning hours.

    Symptoms of U.S. Rocky Mountains Regional Allergies

    Rocky Mountains regional allergies result in hay fever type symptoms like sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, congestion and sinus inflammation. Other symptoms can include headaches, allergic cough, irritability and asthma. Tree allergies in this region last throughout the spring during pollination and are replaced by grass and ragweed allergens throughout the summer and fall months.

    Diagnosing U.S. Rocky Mountains Regional Allergies

    Regional allergies, also called seasonal allergies or hay fever, are based on the time of year. In the Rocky Mountains region, tree, weed and grass allergies are present from spring through fall. Diagnosis by an allergist usually involves a history of symptoms, timing and exposure. If a detailed history is not enough to make a conclusive determination, skin tests may be used to confirm the diagnosis.

    Skin tests involve placing small amounts of allergen extracts just beneath the skin's surface. When allergies are present, a raised bump or minor skin irritation will appear at the site within fifteen minutes. Once the allergens are determined, a personalized treatment and management plan can be established that may include avoiding triggers, the use of medications or immunotherapy depending on the severity of the allergies.  

    Help for U.S. Rocky Mountains Regional Allergies

    Severe regional allergies are often treated with immunotherapy, a series of allergy shots that build up tolerance to allergy triggers. After allergy testing is complete, a personalized serum is developed and shots are given at regular intervals, helping the body naturally build resistance over time. 

    For those with minor allergies, simple techniques like removing shoes and clothing immediately after being outdoors and showering right away can eliminate pollens and other toxins that attach to skin, hair and clothing. People in this region should limit time spent outdoors during the morning hours when pollen is released and carried by the wind. Sunglasses should also be worn to reduce exposure. HEPA air filters and vacuums are also effective for removing pollens brought in from outside.

    Antihistamine medications are effective for periodic allergy attacks, but not generally recommended for long-term allergy management.