Arizona Allergy Season

Conveniently located to serve the areas of Phoenix, AZ

Allergy season is the time of year, spring through fall, when plant and tree pollen is at its peak, causing seasonal allergies for many folks in the Phoenix area. For some people, the combination of airborne pollen, hot weather, and dry climate can cause flu-like symptoms like sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, and a congested nose. To remedy this, physicians offer allergy testing and allergy therapy, two treatment protocols that can significantly improve your quality of life and comfort all year round. 

Dr. Kevin Chan is a board-certified lipidologist and integrative physician offering comprehensive care to his patients in and around Phoenix. With a focus on holistic medicine, Dr. Chan offers different treatment types to address allergies, and chronic diseases, and to provide primary care. At Pineapple Health, he offers private consultations for every patient to better determine their treatment plans. To schedule yours, please call (480) 961-2366 or fill out this form today. We look forward to speaking with you!

Do I Have Seasonal Allergies?

Also referred to as hay fever or allergic rhinitis, seasonal allergies are immediate reactions to the pollen of plants like mugwort, ragweed, and sagebrush. As the months grow warmer, the pollen is swept through the air by wind and weather to wreak havoc on those allergic to certain aspects of its molecular makeup. For instance, mugwort and ragweed contain the major allergen Art v1, a two-domain protein containing galactose and arabinose. This type of weed grows all over North America, and many people who live on this continent experience adverse effects during the warmer months through early fall. (1)

Grass Pollen Allergies

  • Seasonal Bermuda Grass Allergies: This type of allergy occurs during specific seasons when Bermuda grass is actively pollinating. Typically, these seasons coincide with warm months, between late spring and early fall.
  • Perennial Bermuda Grass Allergies: Individuals with perennial allergies experience symptoms year-round due to exposure to Bermuda grass or its allergens throughout the year.

What Happens When a Person Has Pollen Allergies?

When patients are allergic to pollen, their body mistakes the substance as a dangerous intruder. This triggers the body to create chemicals to fight it off, leading to an inflammatory response. The body releases histamines into the bloodstream, causing the flu-like symptoms. Many patients use antihistamines to treat their symptoms, a process that is not always successful. (2) 

Phoenix is home to many native plants that release allergenic pollen. Plants like sagebrush release their pollen over a short amount of time, but these allergens remain in and travel through the air often for weeks at a time. (3) If you suspect an allergy to a type of pollen, Dr. Chan offers comprehensive testing and allergy therapy to help you determine and treat your sensitivity.

Allergy Testing

Dr. Chan offers minimally invasive allergy testing procedures to patients who suspect they have seasonal allergies to sagebrush, mugwort, and ragweed. This can look like simple blood tests or scratch testing. During a blood test, Dr. Chan lightly pricks your finger for a small blood sample, then uses it to test for specific irritants. He can then test your skin for redness, itching, and other signs of allergic sensitivity.

A scratch test requires placing the allergen, positive control, and negative control onto the skin about 2 cm apart from each other. Next, Dr. Chan uses a special tool to introduce the substances into the skin through light scratches on the outermost layer. If you are allergic to the allergen, a hive or bump develops on the skin after 10 or 15 minutes. This test is a safe and controlled way to observe the reactions to a substance and the severity of that reaction. (3)

Allergy Therapy

To treat allergies, Dr. Chan recommends a few different protocols. Typically, these treatment plans require immunotherapy. This often includes allergy shots or injections that help to desensitize your body from the allergy. He injects tiny amounts of the allergen into your body under controlled circumstances, slowly increasing the dosage to allow you to get used to the substance. This works to build immunity against the allergen and decrease negative symptoms to improve your everyday life. Immunotherapy is especially helpful before and during allergy season to work against the increase in pollen allergens. 

What Happens If I Don’t Treat My Seasonal Allergies?

Untreated seasonal allergies can lead to chronic discomfort, reduced productivity, and an adverse impact on your quality of life. Allergic rhinitis and other seasonal allergy symptoms can persist for prolonged periods, affect sleep quality, (4) cause sinus infections, exacerbate asthma symptoms, (5) and trigger other health complications in susceptible individuals.

Benefits of Allergy Testing and Therapy

Allergy testing and immunotherapy benefits patients by: (2)

  • Identifying possible allergies
  • Creating an allergy treatment plan
  • Reducing the inflammatory response
  • Preventing new sensitivities
  • Decreasing the need for allergy medications
  • Intercepting future severe reactions
  • Giving them back control over their environment
  • Building up  long-term allergen tolerance

Dr. Chan’s treatment plan can help you greatly reduce your seasonal allergy symptoms and get back to living a more comfortable life. Finding out more about your potential allergies helps you both immediately and in the long run to manage your symptoms and allergic reactions. Testing and therapy are both safe and effective treatments that are minimally invasive, quick, and require no downtime or recovery. 

Ideal Candidates

In most cases, patients with seasonal allergies experience the following symptoms through the spring, summer, and autumn:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Runny Nose
  • Itchy Eyes
  • Itchy Throat
  • Watery Eyes
  • Congestion
  • Wheezing
  • Hives
  • Rashes

Many patients with persistent asthma may also qualify for allergy testing to rule out certain outside influences like pollen. Allergy testing and therapy are safe for all types of patients as Dr. Chan customizes each plan to their specific needs. To qualify, candidates may have any combination of the symptoms listed above consistently throughout certain parts of the year. They should be in good overall health and have a general understanding of their current reactions to allergens. Each patient meets with Dr. Chan for an initial appointment to explore allergy testing and immunotherapy options. 

Personal Consultation with Dr. Chan

During your appointment at Pineapple Health, Dr. Chan will inquire about your medical history and current or past symptoms. This will guide him toward the right treatments for you. Then, he will explain how allergy testing and therapy both work before creating a personalized treatment plan that addresses your needs. Depending on your circumstances, he may perform allergy testing at the end of this meeting. Make sure to track your symptoms and reactions before this appointment to help Dr. Chan determine what might be causing them.

Allergy Testing and Therapy Preparation

Dr. Chan may recommend avoiding the use of antihistamines for at least one week before your allergy testing appointment. This includes the following medications:

  • Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra, etc.
  • Benadryl, cold medicine
  • Certain antidepressant medications
  • Beta-blocker medications
  • Nasal antihistamine sprays

To prepare for immunotherapy, patients should avoid strenuous exercise for 2 hours before and after each treatment. Excessive movement increases blood flow and can spread the allergens faster than necessary. Patients may also stay at Pineapple Health for 30 to 45 minutes after injection to observe them for serious adverse effects like anaphylaxis.

Recovery & Results

You may experience some swelling and irritation 4 to 8 hours after your allergy test. This will gradually dissipate over the next few days. Allergy seasons shift and change with time, so you may return for further testing later on if your symptoms worsen. During allergy therapy, it may take some time to target your specific allergies. Once identified, the therapy injections gradually help as their dosage increases. Dr. Chan closely observes your progress throughout the treatment to keep you on track.

Allergy therapy works to reduce long-term allergy symptoms by introducing them into the body slowly. It may take a while to see your results. The length of treatment is completely dependent on the patient and their specific situation. It can take around 6 to 8 months of consistent therapy to notice an improvement in symptoms. 

Cost of Allergy Testing and Allergy Therapy in Phoenix

The cost of allergy treatment at Pineapple Health varies between patients. Those who seek testing and therapy should schedule a private consultation with Dr. Chan to receive a total cost estimate. We encourage you to call our Phoenix office at (480) 961-2366 or fill out this convenient form to book your appointment today.


How do I know if I have seasonal allergies?

Most patients experience similar symptoms such as flu-like reactions like a runny nose, itchy nose and eyes, or watery eyes. If you notice these symptoms during certain months of the year and not others, you may have seasonal allergies.

Will seasonal allergy treatment completely cure my allergies?

While there is currently no known cure for seasonal allergies, various treatment options can effectively manage and significantly reduce your allergic symptoms. The goal is to mitigate the impact of allergies on your daily life, improving comfort and overall well-being. 

Is allergy testing and/or therapy painful?

During allergy skin testing, there is minimal discomfort for patients. A scratch test can feel like a quick scrape with a toothpick, whereas blood testing requires a small prick of the finger. Both processes are minimally invasive and comfortable.

How long does it take to get the results of allergy testing back?

It usually takes only a few days for your results to come back from the lab. Your physician will provide you with the information as soon as it is available to them.

Is everyone with a positive allergy test required to receive immunotherapy treatment?

No. For some patients, medications and avoidance of the allergen can treat their symptoms.


  1. Himly M, Jahn-Schmid B, Dedic A, et al. Art v 1, the major allergen of mugwort pollen, is a modular glycoprotein with a defensin‐like and a hydroxyproline‐rich domain. The FASEB Journal. 2003;17(1):106-108. doi:
  2. Alvaro‐Lozano M, Akdis CA, Akdis M, et al. EAACI Allergen Immunotherapy User’s Guide. Pediatric Allergy and Immunology. 2020;31(Suppl 25):1-101. doi:
  3. Wopfner N, Gadermaier G, Egger M, et al. The Spectrum of Allergens in Ragweed and Mugwort Pollen. International Archives of Allergy and Immunology. 2005;138(4):337-346. doi:
  4. Liu J, Zhang X, Zhao Y, Wang Y. The association between allergic rhinitis and sleep: A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. Bhatt GC, ed. PLOS ONE. 2020;15(2):e0228533. doi: 
  5. SLAVIN R. Sinusitis in adults and its relation to allergic rhinitis, asthma, and nasal polyps. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 1988;82(5):950-956. doi: