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Spring Allergies in St. Louis, Missouri

Learn about spring allergies in St. Louis, Missouri from a board-certified seasonal allergist. Dr. Sonia Cajigal specializes in testing for spring allergies and spring allergy treatment. Contact us today to schedule your visit!

“Dr. Cajigal is the best. We’ve been seeing her for the last 4 years, having young children with allergies is scary. I have always felt listened to and not made to feel like any question is dumb. ”

– Amy D, February 2022

Spring allergies in St. Louis Missouri explained by Dr. Sonia Cajigal
Spring allergy Doctor Sonia Cajigal of St. Louis Family Allergy review badges and affiliations

About Spring Allergies in St. Louis

Spring Allergies Overview

Spring Allergies Symptoms

Testing for Spring Allergies

Spring Allergy Treatment
The bloom of spring time marks the start of allergy season for hundreds of thousands of Missourians. Those with seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever) are all too familiar with the discomfort that spring can bring, but fortunately there are steps you can take to live more comfortably with spring allergies.

The spring allergy season in St. Louis, Missouri typically starts in March and extends into mid-July. Pollinating trees kick off spring allergy season and continue releasing pollen well into May. Common culprits of spring allergies in St. Louis include oak trees, cedar trees, hickory trees, walnut trees, and ash trees. A number of other less common trees are also responsible for seasonal allergies in St. Louis, including aspen, alder, ash, birch, beech, box elder, cottonwood, elm, mountain elder, mulberry, olive, poplar, pecan, and willow trees. The St. Louis Missouri spring allergy season is also extended by pollinating grass, which typically starts in May and ends in mid-July.

Because of Missouri’s frequent weather changes from warm and humid to damp and cool, perennial (year-round) allergies like indoor mold, pets, dust, and dust mites can also get worse during the Missouri spring time.

Spring Allergy Relief

in St. Louis, Missouri

Woman with spring allergies in St. Louis, Missouri

Spring Allergies Symptoms

The symptoms of spring allergies are similar to those of other seasonal allergies. The most common symptoms of spring allergies include any or all of the following:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy, red eyes
  • Stuffy nose (congestion)
  • Itchy mouth and lips
  • Asthma symptoms such as wheezing, shortness of breath, or chest tightness

It’s also possible for spring allergies in Missouri to trigger more severe symptoms, including:

  • Hives
  • Worsening eczema
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Wheezing
  • Upset stomach

Every allergy sufferer’s experience can be unique.

Spring Allergies vs Fall Allergies

Many allergy sufferers are curious about the differences between spring allergies vs fall allergies. Allergy symptoms are similar between the two seasons, but what causes spring allergies vs fall allergies can vary significantly. Spring allergies are typically caused by pollinating trees and grass, whereas fall allergies are more often caused by ragweed. Mold can be prevalent during both fall and spring. Depending on what you’re allergic to, you might experience worse allergy symptoms during the spring vs the fall.

Spring Allergies vs Cold

Spring allergies and the common cold have several symptoms in common. Cold symptoms include a runny or congested nose, sneezing, sore throat, scratchy throat, and cough. However, there are subtle differences between spring allergies and a cold. Allergies can cause itchy and watery eyes, which are typically not present with a cold. Allergies cause thin, translucent mucus. Colds, on the other hand, can cause thick, greenish-yellowish mucus. Colds can also cause fever or sweats, which are not a symptom of allergies. Allergies are persistent and longer lasting than the cold. For an otherwise healthy individual, a cold typically lasts three to seven days, but spring allergies will persist throughout the season.

Spring Allergies vs COVID

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is a viral illness that can be spread by coughing, sneezing, and close personal contact. Given the many possible symptoms of COVID, it’s common now to mistake spring allergies for COVID or vice versa. However, there are important distinctions between the two illnesses that should help you to tell them apart.

COVID often causes body aches, chills, and fever, none of which are associated with spring allergies. COVID also causes dry cough, shortness of breath, and loss of smell. While these symptoms are possible with allergies, especially if you have asthma as well, they are typically much more pronounced when you have COVID.

On the other hand, spring allergies often cause itchiness, either in your eyes or your mouth. COVID does not cause itchiness. Importantly, allergies will typically respond to allergy medications, whereas COVID symptoms will not. As a final point, allergies will stick around throughout the spring season, but COVID will typically resolve within 14 days of onset.

See a Spring Allergy Specialist

in St. Louis, Missouri

Man with spring allergies in St. Louis, Missouri

Testing for Spring Allergies

Spring allergies can be caused by one of many distinct allergens, which is why it’s important to get a formal diagnosis from a board-certified allergist. Testing for spring allergies begins with a detailed medical history where Dr. Cajigal will ask you about your symptoms and when you’ve experienced them. Spring allergies can have a strong environmental component, so details about your home, your work, your pets, and other environmental factors are critical for Dr. Cajigal to diagnose the cause of your spring allergies.

A spring allergy diagnosis can usually be confirmed with a simple skin prick test, but Dr. Cajigal may order intradermal testing or blood testing as needed if a skin prick test is inconclusive or cannot be performed.

Spring Allergy Treatment

Spring allergy treatment consists of allergy avoidance techniques, environmental modifications, and medications to relieve symptoms. Allergy shots may also be an option depending on what you’re allergic to.

Tips to Avoid Spring Allergies

These spring allergy tips can help you minimize your exposure to allergens during the spring allergy season:

  • Check your local pollen counts whenever you check the weather
  • Limit outdoor activities during times of high pollen counts
  • Wear sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat to reduce pollen exposure when outdoors
  • Change clothes as soon as you get home if you’ve spent a lot of time outdoors
  • Men should shave frequently to prevent pollen from gathering in their facial hair

When you visit us at St. Louis Family Allergy, Dr. Cajigal will have additional recommendations for you based on your unique case.

Removing Spring Allergens from Your Home

Your home or work environment could be a significant source of allergy exposure. If you continue to experience symptoms despite the above precautions, thoroughly cleaning your home is a good next step to reduce your spring allergen exposure. Be mindful of mold, damp rooms, dust, and pets. Though not exhaustive, the list below provides some of the more common suggestions to minimize mold, dust, and pet dander allergens in your home.

  • Wash your bed linens and pillowcases in hot water and detergent frequently to reduce allergens
  • Steam clean carpets or remove carpets altogether, especially if they tend to get damp
  • Vacuum with a HEPA filter to reduce dust in your home
  • Use dust mite proof covers for pillows, comforters, duvets, mattresses and box springs
  • Regularly clean garbage cans and refrigerator drip pans
  • Regularly clean your gutters and ensure drainage flows away from your home’s foundation
  • Quickly clean up any spills, leaks, or messes to prevent mold from growing
  • Keep pets out of the bedroom to reduce pet dander in your bedding
  • Keep pets off of upholstered furniture
  • Consider replacing upholstered furniture to minimize pet dander accumulation

Some of this advice only applies if you have a specific allergy. When you visit us at St. Louis Family Allergy, Dr. Cajigal will provide personalized advice for your unique circumstances.

Spring Allergy Medications

Medications can be used to prevent spring allergy symptoms if taken prior to exposure, and they can also provide relief when an allergic reaction occurs. Antihistamines, eye drops, and nasal sprays are commonly used to treat spring allergy symptoms either proactively or reactively. Dr. Cajigal can help you identify which medications are right for you.

Allergy Shots (Immunotherapy)

Allergy shots may be an effective long-term treatment for your spring allergies. Allergy shots are often referred to as a ‘curative therapy’ because they can prevent future allergic reactions and allow you to safely tolerate higher levels of whatever you’re allergic to. Visit us at St. Louis Family Allergy to learn more about this option.

References

[1] American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: https://acaai.org/
[2] Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: https://www.aafa.org/
More Specialties

Asthma

Drug Allergies

Eye Allergies

Food Allergies

Nasal Allergies

Skin Allergies

Allergy Shots

Allergy Testing

Biologic Therapy

Spring Allergy Specialist Dr. Sonia Cajigal of St. Louis Family Allergy in St. Louis, Missouri

Spring Allergy Specialist
Dr. Sonia Cajigal

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"Dr. Cajigal was friendly, professional, and informative. She took the time to explain the tests and what was going on with my allergies. She is so knowledgeable and really cared about how I was feeling. I would highly recommend this practice if you suffer from allergies and asthma."

- Sue D, July 2020

“Dr Cajigal is a great listener. She trusts her patients instead of treating them as if they are not the experts of their own bodies. I really appreciate that (many doctors do not have that quality). She also immediately treats the symptoms instead of waiting to see if things clear. I use her for my children and myself. We have never left her office feeling as if it was a waste of time.”

– Stephanie, August 2020

"Great Allergist!"

- Ann H, December 2018

"She is the best."

- Stephen W, June 2020

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