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Montana allergy season kicks off as temperatures rise

Posted at 11:55 AM, May 18, 2019

BOZEMAN – As spring settles in and many people welcome warmer temperatures, for some, this time of year brings the dread of allergy season.

If you find yourself sneezing, coughing, and having a runny nose continuously at this time of year, you probably have allergies and you can probably blame trees.

“Early spring pollinators like maple trees, late spring pollinators like the oak trees, and the juniper trees. cottonwood trees have not yet started pollinating,” said Dr. Michael Zacharisen, an allergist and immunologist.

Zacharisen is an M.D. with Bozeman Family Asthma and Allergy Center.

“While trees usually stop pollinating in the next week or two, we’re not out of the woods yet, as the focus will shift to allergies caused by grass,” Zacharisen added.

Grass pollen is the most common outdoor allergen in the world, according to Zacharisen.

“So it’s very common and we have fairly short pollen season here, but pretty intense,” he said. “It’s the grass pollen that really affects most of the people and that’s primarily late May, June, and July.”

A few rainy days this spring will not bail you out from your allergies.

“A good rainy spring will lead to bigger plants and a more robust pollen season in general, in the short-term rain will clean the air and clear the air of pollen and give people some short term relief,” Zacharisen said.

You can usually tackle allergy symptoms at home.

“If those symptoms occur, the first line treatment would be an antihistamine and many of these are available over the counter without a prescription,” Zacharisen said.

Dr. Zacharisen also said if your allergies start impacting your daily life, as in preventing you from going to school or work, it may be time to see an allergist where an allergy test and allergy injections may be necessary.

For the latest allergy forecast, click here.

-Carson Vickroy reporting for MTN News