The cottonwood is a pollinating tree causing allergies that appear seasonally during early spring, with pronounced reactions occurring on warm, breezy days when pollen and mold counts peak due to airborne transport, resulting in inhalation of pollen particles through the eyes, nose and mouth.
Sensitized individuals that inhale cottonwood pollen may become symptomatic with allergic sinusitis, identified by stuffed up nasal passages and sinuses, ear infections, facial tenderness, localized headache pressure above the eyes that may lead to a migraine, fatigue, mood changes, decreased appetite and insomnia.
Allergies to cottonwood produce symptoms of hay fever, causing itchy sensations in the eyes, nose, throat and mouth, accompanied by post-nasal drip symptoms of runny nose, watery eyes and sneezing.
Cottonwood allergies may cause allergic conjunctivitis of the eyes, leading to intensely itchy, watery eyes and eyelids that are visibly red, swollen, bloodshot and tender to the touch.
Allergies to cottonwood may cause symptoms of allergic rhinitis that combine with allergic asthma, resulting in nasal congestion, chronic sneezing and coughing, wheezing, throat soreness, chest tightness and asthma attacks.
People with allergies to cottonwood typically display allergies to other pollinating trees and should avoid outdoor exposure on high pollen count days. Decongestants, oral antihistamines, inhalers and allergy injections are effective in reducing cottonwood allergy symptoms.