Springtime is the start of allergy season for many Alaskans. And with spring cleaning kicking up dust all over town, allergies can hit some people pretty hard.
Experts say late April to the first week of May is typically when birch pollen levels begin to rise. Alaska has some of the highest birch pollen levels in the world, according to allergist and immunologist Dr. Jeffrey Demain.
"We usually will peak around the first week of May and then the pollen levels of the trees will continue throughout the month," Demain said.
Birch pollen and other tree pollens usually peak in the morning, from about 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., according to Demain. Around noon pollen levels will taper off, but that's also when air quality tends to worsen as more activity leads to more dust particulates in the air.
As warm temperatures draw Alaskans outdoors, what can people who suffer from allergies do to make sure they don't interfere? According to Demain, scheduling activities later in the day might help.
"If birch pollen is going to be your main allergen, I would try to plan activities for the afternoon or evening and I think you'll do a lot better," Demain said.