Whether you’ve lived in Chico or Redding for 10 years, 10 days or 10 minutes, you’ll probably experience allergies like you never have before. Why? Northern California is home to many varieties of plants, grasses and trees. When you combine those with rising temperatures allergies are inevitable. But all is not lost! There are some things you can do to help cope with your seasonal allergies.
What is an allergy?
First, let’s define what an allergy actually is. An allergy is basically an abnormal, exaggerated response by your body’s immune system to a specific substance that is inhaled, ingested or contacted in some way. So, all that sneezing, itching, watering, sniffling, stuffy-nosed reaction really is just your body being dramatic about something.
Why is pollen so abundant in Northern California?
Truth be told, the northern Sacramento Valley is actually one of the most allergenic areas in the United States. This is because:
- It's agriculturally based
- We have an abundance of water
- We live in a temperate client with a long growing season and little to no freezing
During the months of April and May, the most common allergies are related to pollen.To add insult to injury, Northern California commercially grows two very allergenic plants – walnuts and olives, which also cause extreme allergic reactions.
Seasonal allergies relating to pollen are present all year round, but the biggest sources of pollen living in Chico or Redding right now are walnut trees, oak trees, mulberry, and general grasses and weeds. By the end of May, oak and walnut will be done blooming, but the olive trees will be reaching their peak. You could also have allergies to dust mites, pet dander, or molds.
Is relief anywhere in sight?
Gesundheit! If relief was anywhere in sight, you wouldn’t know because your eyes are swollen shut. We feel ya, so we’re giving you a few general suggestions to help conquer your pollen-related allergies:
- Even though spring time living in Chico and Redding is absolutely gorgeous, staying indoors with your windows closed will help alleviate your allergies. Keeping your air conditioning on to continue circulating the air will help too.
- If you aren’t a morning person, become one! Pollen levels are actually lower shortly after sunrise making it a great time for you to be outdoors if you must.
- Avoid hanging clothes outside on the line to dry. This allows pollen to collect on them. Use your machine-dryer instead.
- Taking a shower and washing your hair before bed will help remove pollen and keep it out of your bedroom.
- Use a HEPA filter in your home, especially while you sleep to help keep the air clean.
- And of course you can always try over-the-counter medications or visit a local allergist.
We didn’t think there could be a negative reason for living in Chico or Redding, but allergies are the one thing that can cause some misery for a little while! Luckily, there are plenty of other things to do in Northern California.