Arizona’s weather is great for outdoor activities. Although abundant sunshine and mild winters sound like a great deal, it also makes Arizona a hot spot for allergens.
Because Arizona is blessed with a year-round growing season, there is a continuous supply of plants producing pollen. Coupling this with the variety of allergens in Arizona means the allergy season isn’t restricted to a specific period—at least not for the entire state. It varies in intensity and duration across different regions, as we discuss in this guide.
Is It the Arizona Allergy Season?
The answer to the question “when is the allergy season in Arizona?” is not straightforward, as allergy seasons vary with location, climate, and season. Arizona is diverse in geography, landscape, and allergens, so different areas in the state have different allergy seasons.
Areas undergoing the allergy season experience an increase in the following common allergy symptoms:
- Congestion or runny nose
- Itchy, red, or watery eyes
If you have allergies and start experiencing these symptoms, you should seek treatment immediately. It is easy to confuse them with cold symptoms and ignore them. But you can differentiate these by watching for symptoms like sore throat, body aches, and low-grade fever that are present in a common cold but not allergies.
What are the Months of Allergy Season in Arizona?
Allergens like dust and pollution are present around the year because of the state’s climate and urban or industrial areas. Others, like pollen and mold, follow seasonal patterns, causing peaks and troughs in the allergy season based on location, climate, and season.
Allergy Season Based on Location
Arizona is diverse in terms of elevation and geography, so your specific location determines when your allergy season begins, how long it lasts, and the types of allergens that can affect you.
For example, the allergy season of lower desert regions of Arizona, like Phoenix, Yuma, and Tucson can start pollinating as early as February or March. Their allergy season usually comes earlier and lasts longer than other areas.
This is because they experience milder winters, so many plants remain in bloom and begin to pollinate earlier. Also, mild winters that don’t reach freezing temperatures can’t freeze the pollen, so there’s always an allergen in the air that can affect you in the lower desert regions.
Higher elevation areas in Arizona, such as Flagstaff and Prescott, have a shorter and less intensive allergy season. They experience colder winters, delaying pollen production. That means allergy symptoms may not appear until late spring or early summer.
Apart from elevation, the allergy season can vary depending on whether you live in an urban or rural area. Urban environments have a higher concentration of allergenic plants like flowers, trees, grass, etc., in parks and gardens. They can have much higher pollen levels, leading to more exposure. Rural areas have fewer allergenic plants in immediate proximity.
Allergy Season Based on Climate
The arid and windy climate in Arizona creates the perfect conditions for spreading pollen. Pollen grains become airborne in dry conditions and remain suspended in the air for longer periods. Strong winds can carry the pollen grains over long distances, increasing the chances of someone inhaling them and causing allergic reactions.
The extreme temperature variations between day and night in Arizona can worsen allergy symptoms during the day when plans release more pollen into the air.
From late June to September, Arizona experiences the Monsoon Season. It is characterized by heavy rainfall and high humidity levels. The heavy rainfall can wash away pollen and allergens from the air, offering temporary relief. But it also creates the ideal conditions for mold growth and helps desert plants to bloom.
Allergy Season Based on Season
Here’s how Arizona’s allergy season varies with the seasons:
- Late winter to spring
Trees like mesquite, mulberry, and olive trees in Arizona are among the earliest to produce pollen. They typically start in late winter, around February or March, and continue into the spring months.
The strong winds can further spread the pollen, causing allergy symptoms for people allergic to tree pollen. The symptoms can get worse if untreated because the other late pollen-producer trees produce pollen around April to May. As the amount of pollen in the air increases, so does the allergy symptoms.
- Early summer
Tree pollen levels decrease as spring transitions into early summer. But that doesn’t make things easier for Arizonians because grasses like Bermuda and Johnson become more active. It heightens the allergy symptoms for individuals allergic to grass pollen.
- Monsoon season
The monsoon season in Arizona occurs from late June to September. The increased humidity and sporadic rainfall can wash away the pollen and other allergens from the air. But it provides good conditions for mold growth. Mold spores can be a significant allergen, affecting people sensitive to mold.
- Late summer to fall
As the monsoon season subsides and temperatures begin to cool in late summer and early fall, some types of grasses can still release pollen. Additionally, other plants like Russian thistle and ragweed, a common allergen in Arizona, can become active and trigger symptoms in various individuals.
Winter in Arizona, though mild, can reduce pollen production, making the outdoors safe. However, many people spend more time indoors, so they can be exposed to indoor allergens like pet dander and dust mites.
Allergy Shots and Allergy Tests in Arizona
Allergic reactions can vary in severity. They can be mild, such as skin rashes, itching, sneezing, or watery nose. They can also be life-threatening by exacerbating symptoms of conditions like asthma. Some can cause long-term conditions like atopic dermatitis, chronic sinusitis, and secondary skin infections in the affected areas.
That is why you must seek allergy treatment in Arizona. The year-round allergens in the state increase your risk of complications and a lower quality of life and well-being. Discomfort, sleep disturbances, missed school or work days, and reduced productivity are just a few of the direct effects you may experience.
Seeking allergy treatment in Arizona involves allergy tests and allergy shots.
Arizona has various allergens, including pollen, dust, and pollution. The first step to manage and treat your allergies is to undergo an allergy test to determine the allergens that can trigger your symptoms. Going for treatment for the wrong allergen can exacerbate your allergy symptoms.
There are two types of allergy tests: skin and blood. The skin allergy test involves placing the suspected allergen on your skin. If you’re allergic, your skin reacts with some redness or a small raised bump. Blood allergy tests, such as the ImmunoCAP test, measure the reaction of specific antibodies in your blood to allergens. They take longer than the skin tests but are more detailed and accurate.
Understanding which allergens trigger your symptoms allows your doctor to develop a targeted treatment plan. It also helps you understand when your allergy season is, as it varies with the type of allergen.
Allergy shots, also known as immunotherapy, are treatment approaches designed to reduce your sensitivity to specific allergens.
It works like a normal vaccination. Once you determine your specific allergens through the allergy test, your doctor can create an allergy serum, which contains small amounts of these allergens. You will receive regular shots of this serum, typically starting with weekly injections that contain progressively higher doses of allergens.
The goal of the shots is to reduce your sensitivity to the allergen and your symptoms. They desensitize your immune system to the allergens it perceives as threats and overreacts to. This is an excellent treatment for allergies in Arizona, where allergies are a year-round concern. Allergy shots can provide long-term relief and reduce your reliance on allergy medications.
Allergy shots aren’t the only treatment for symptoms of allergic reactions. Others include:
- Over-the-counter antihistamines
- Nasal corticosteroids
- Eye drops
- Prescription medicines
Speak to your healthcare provider or allergist so they can recommend the best treatment option for you.
Allergy Relief Near You
Allergies are common around the year in Arizona due to the dry air and dusty environment. But effective solutions exist. The first step is to accurately determine the allergen that is triggering the reactions to find the best treatment options for your case.
Dr. Wiggenhorn of Advanced Sinus Relief Centers can help you get the allergy relief you need to improve the quality of your life. If you’re concerned about allergies or you’re experiencing symptoms that affect your daily life, contact us to figure out a solution.