Many people think that the scorching temperatures in Arizona in the summer “kill off” all the pollen. Unfortunately, that is false!  While the pollen counts in the summer are not as high as they are in the spring and fall, summer in the desert can still be quite challenging for allergy sufferers.

First and foremost, there is plenty of pollen in the desert in the summer. Bermuda grass, which is highly allergenic, continues to pollinate in the summer, along with many weeds and even a few trees. From July through September, Arizona will start to see higher mold spore counts, which can drive a lot of allergy symptoms and is known for triggering asthma.

Two common events that occur in the summer months in Arizona – monsoons and dust storms – can cause increased allergens and pollens to circulate in the air, along with dust and irritating particulate matter. These microscopic particles can get into our nose, eyes, and airways and cause irritation and allergy or asthma symptoms.

Research shows that higher temperatures can increase the amount of pollen that plants can create and may even make the pollen more allergenic. This, along with the poor air quality in the summer due to ozone in the atmosphere, can cause worsening symptoms as well.

Depending on what varieties of plants or molds you are allergic to, you could have severe allergy symptoms all summer long.  If you’re not sure what you’re allergic to you should talk to your allergy provider. Having allergy skin prick testing (or reviewing previous testing) with your allergist is the best way to truly know what your allergic triggers are, and your allergy provider can help you come up with a plan to manage your symptoms all year long!