Peak tree pollen allergy season occurs from late April to mid-May in the Northeast. Trees like birch, oak, cedar and hickory release small, light pollens into the air. These pollens travel onto your clothing and pets and fly in through open windows. It may seem evident that by keeping windows and doors closed in the spring, removing outdoor clothing when entering the home for the evening, and showering before bedtime are all wise ideas to ameliorate nasal, eye, respiratory and skin symptoms that often accompany seasonal allergic rhinoconjunctivitis. Most of us, however, may not suspect our daily apple, the almond milk we use on our cereal every morning, or the tomato sauce on pasta and pizza as triggers. Pollens cross-react with many natural foods; the foods, in turn, may exacerbate all the typical hay fever symptoms. As noted, stone fruits, tree nuts and vegetables are common culprits. It is important that you avoid these foods, especially during pollen season, in order to best control your allergic reactions. Northampton Integrative Medicine offers extensive environmental and food allergy testing and treatment to help you weather the spring, summer and fall better than ever before.
Denise M. Kearney, MD, MS