Select a Topic
- What are Regional Allergies?
- U.S. Great Lakes Common Allergens
- Symptoms of U.S. Great Lakes Regional Allergies
- Diagnosing U.S. Great Lakes Regional Allergies
- Treatment for Great Lakes 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 associated allergy symptoms.
Seasonal allergies in the Great Lakes region are usually not as problematic as other regions due to the cooler temperatures throughout the year. The amount of rainfall from the previous year has a strong impact on the severity of allergies during the spring and summer months. More rain and warmer temperatures lead to more pollen in the following year, worsening allergy symptoms.
U.S. Great Lakes Common Allergens
Tree pollens and grasses that bloom in the spring and summer are the biggest allergy-inducers, followed by trees. Common grasses and weeds in the Great Lakes region include ragweed, orchard grass, redtop, bermuda grass, plantain and nettle. Weeds in this region pollinate from July through September. Elm, maple, birch, hickory and oak trees pollinate from March to June.
Symptoms of Great Lakes Regional Allergies
Great Lakes 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 attacks.
Diagnosing Great Lakes Regional Allergies
Regional allergies, also called seasonal allergies or hay fever, are season-based. Great Lakes seasonal allergies run from March to September. Seasonal allergies are diagnosed by examination and timing of symptoms. Skin tests may be used to confirm the diagnosis. Skin tests involve placing a tiny amount of potential allergens just beneath the skin. If allergies are present, there will be a raised bump or minor skin irritation present at the site within fifteen to thirty minutes. Once the sources of allergies are determined, a treatment and management plan can be established.
Help for Great Lakes Regional Allergies
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. HEPA air filters and vacuums can remove pollens brought in from outside.
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 to build resistance naturally over time. Antihistamines are also used to stop allergy attacks.