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Wisconsin spring seasonal allergy season 2024 is here

Wisconsin spring seasonal allergy season 2024 is here

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As seasonal allergies return, Wisconsinites might be suffering with runny nose, sneezing and itchy eyes.

Rising temperatures mean that plants are releasing more pollen into the air for a longer amount of time. According to Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, between 1995 and 2011, warmer temperatures caused pollen season to be 11 to 27 days longer in the US

In Wisconsin, we experienced the warmest winters on record this year. Here’s a look at what that means for the allergy season:

Where are pollen counts highest in Wisconsin?

Pollen counts are high across much of the state so far this month, according to data from Pollen.com.

Madison, Green Bay, Appleton, La Crosse and Wausau all had some of the highest counts of pollen in Wisconsin during the first week of May.

Milwaukee is forecast on Monday to see medium-high pollen counts with top allergens of Mulberry, Oak and Ash.

When is the pollen season?

During the spring, summer and fall, plants release pollen grains to fertilize other plants.

The majority of the pollen that causes your allergies comes from trees, grasses and weeds, which make small and dry pollen grains that travel in the wind.

Here are the pollen seasons in the US, according to AAFA.

How does pollen impact your body?

For some people, breathing in pollen can cause their immune system to overreact. When exposed to pollen, the immune system launches antibodies which can cause cells to release histamine, a chemical that causes sneezing, runny nose and itchy eyes.

What are the symptoms of pollen allergies?

If you have pollen allergies, you’ll only have symptoms when the pollens you’re allergic to are in the air. According to the AAFA, symptoms might include:

  • Runny nose
  • Stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy nose, eyes, ears and mouth
  • Red and watery eyes
  • Swelling around the eyes

RELATED: How to tell the difference between COVID-19 and allergy symptoms now that spring pollen has arrived in Wisconsin

How to treat allergies:

There are several over-the-counter medications to treat allergy symptoms. You can start taking allergy treatments before pollen season starts, which allows the treatments to prevent your body from releasing histamine.

If over-the-counter medications aren’t helping your symptoms, you can contact an allergy specialist who can assist in finding out which allergies are affecting you and how to best treat your symptoms.

Make sure to limit your outdoor activities when pollen counts are high, and keep your windows closed during pollen season. You can use central air conditioning or air cleaners with HEPA filtration to reduce indoor allergens.

You should shower daily before going to bed, and wash bedding once a week to remove any pollen from your bedding.

To monitor pollen forecasts, you can visit pollen.aaaai.org.

Worst US cities for people with seasonal allergies:

AAFA analyzed the most challenging places to live with seasonal allergies. Metrics are based on daily pollen counts, availability of allergy specialists, and over-the counter medication use.

  1. Wichita, Kansas
  2. Virginia Beach, Virginia
  3. Greenville, South Carolina
  4. Dallas, Texas
  5. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  6. Tulsa, Okla
  7. Richmond, Va.
  8. Des Moines, Iowa
  9. Raleigh, North Carolina
  10. Fayetteville, Arkansas

RELATED: The spring allergy season is upon us. What steps can you take?