March 12, 2020
While there’s a lot to love about Texas, it can be a troublesome area for a lot of people that regularly deal with allergies. The main culprit here, ironically enough, is that mild climate that a lot of people have come to appreciate over the years. A temperate climate means that most plant life rarely goes into freeze, if at all. The result is more time for plants to pollinate year-round, even in winter. While winter is the mildest time of the year for most people with allergies, it can be the worst in Texas. To prepare you and your family appropriately, here’s a look at some of the most common pollen allergies in the state.
Mountain Cedar is the perfect example of pollen that tends to pop up when the rest of the country is allergy-free. By nature, it thrives in colder temperatures and creates clouds of dust in the air. It’s such a nuisance a lot of people refer to this time of year as “cedar fever.” In some cases, the allergic reaction can progress to flu-like symptoms such as fatigue and body aches.
Oak pollen is a common cause of springtime allergies across the country, Texas included. Chances are that a lot of allergy sufferers come to dread the yellow coat of pollen that often finds itself on cards, doors, and any outdoor structure.
Generally, Elm allergies are a prelude to mountain cedar season, with the trees starting to bloom in late summer and early fall. However, the effects of the pollen can last through the end of the season.
Ash pollen is generally its worst from an allergy perspective around the beginning of spring. However, the bloom time is on the shorter side, roughly two weeks. Note that there are some key differences between male and female ash trees. If you see winged fruit known as samaras, you’re in good shape, as these are female trees that don’t give off pollen. If you see flower spikes that look like cat whiskers, those are male trees.
Mulberry trees are notorious for having a harsh allergic reaction and a high pollen load from even one tree. In several Southwestern cities, it has been banned from having new Mulberry trees planted. This is due to the combination of high pollen and the windy and dry weather making many locals miserable. Generally, the allergy season for this is between February and April.
Grass allergies tend to span from the start of spring to the end of the fall, and there are a few ways they can manifest. Grass pollen has a similar health reaction to conventional hay fever (sniffling, watery eyes). However, some people also get a reaction from coming into contact with certain grass types, adding a possible rash.
Ragweed is one of the more insidious pollen allergies because it’s a small plant that’s hard to notice. A lot of people may blame their allergic reactions on more conspicuous plants when, in reality, it’s just due to ragweed. Ragweed has its pollen peak in late summer and early fall.
These last two items we’re going to cover, unfortunately, are an allergy hassle year-round. The good news is there are some things you can do to reduce the issue.
Dust mites are tiny bugs that live inside dust particles, especially in environments like carpeting, bedding, and upholstered furniture. The best thing you can do to reduce the chance of their impact is regularly clean and vacuum your home to limit the dust the mites have to reside.
Mold can grow just about anywhere there is moisture, but it especially favors dark and wet spaces like attics or basements. Flooding or other water damages are also common spaces for mold. Note that while mold reactions can be similar to other allergies, black mold can have a more pronounced health impact, so you want to move quickly to get rid of it.
Depending on the intensity, allergies may be a major concern for your health or a minor annoyance, but no one has to suffer with them without any support. A medical professional can either provide you with advice/medication to help regulate your allergies or refer you to a specialist if you need more specific health. Other good general practices, if you know you have allergies, are making sure that you regularly change and clean out of clothes you wore outdoors when you know it was a heavy pollen day. Consider some over-the-counter medications if you need additional support.
At Healthcare Associates of Texas, we serve the greater Dallas/Fort Worth area at 15 locations. Our combination of expertise and service makes us an ideal asset for those who are concerned about allergies and their general health moving forward.