Fall Allergies in Texas: What to Expect

plants at golden dusk

More than 50 million people experience allergies in the United States, and those living in the great state of Texas could be suffering more than most. Believe it or not, San Antonio, McAllen and Houston all rank as some of the worst places in the country for seasonal allergies, especially in the fall. 

If you’re trying to avoid fall allergies, Texas might not be the best spot for a vacation from mid-August to October. This can mean itchy eyes, seemingly unstoppable sneezing, irritating congestion and other unpleasant symptoms. Don’t let this scare you — just because Texas comes with certain characteristics that make fall allergies particularly insufferable doesn’t mean you have to hide inside ‘til the new year. 

We’ll walk you through how to identify some of the causes and treat the symptoms of fall allergies in the Lone Star State.

[Related: 3 Tips to Prepare for Fall Allergy Season]

Symptoms of Fall Allergies in Texas

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, this means you might struggle no matter the season. You might also confuse seasonal allergies with a common cold or flu, so it’s important to know what you’re looking for.

  • Congestion
  • Itchy eyes, throat and/or nose
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Sinus pressure
  • Shortness of breath

If you experience any of these symptoms during the fall, you might want to get checked for seasonal allergies.

Causes of Fall Allergies in Texas

Many things cause fall allergies in Texas. The main contenders are spores released through mold and pollen particles released from common plants, trees and weeds. Once these particles find their way into our bodies through the air we breathe, they can really mess with our immune system.

Ragweed

Ragweed is a huge cause of fall allergies in Texas. It’s a heavy pollinator during the autumn months in Central Texas, and studies have shown that nearly one-quarter of the country’s population is allergic to ragweed. 

Long story short, it can be hard to avoid suffering the symptoms when you’re around ragweed. Even if you avoid it, a single ragweed plant can release more than 1 billion varieties of pollen that can travel as far as 400 miles.

Grass Pollen

From early March to mid-October, grass releases micro-pollen grains to fertilize plants. Some common grass types that can cause particularly bad allergy symptoms include Bermuda grass, ryegrass and Timothy grass.

Mold

Although people usually imagine indoor mold when thinking of mold allergies, outdoor mold can also affect you during the fall. Mold can really thrive in decaying vegetation like fallen leaves and patches of wet ground — and moisture amplifies spore production.

[Related: How to Get a Sound Sleep During Summertime]

How to Treat Texas Fall Allergies

If you suffer from Texas fall allergies, don’t lose hope — we’re not telling you to lock yourself indoors until spring rolls around! Here are seven ways to deal with and relieve seasonal allergy symptoms.

Allergy Shots

Allergy shots are injections that introduce trace amounts of allergens to your immune system to help you become less sensitive to allergy triggers. These shots can treat multiple allergies with one custom-crafted serum. You can receive allergy shots at a doctor’s office or self-administer them at home.

Allergy Drops

Sublingual allergy drops, also known as sublingual drops, are drops you place under your tongue to fight allergy symptoms. These drops contain a small dose of customized allergens that help build your immunity and reduce sensitivity to your triggers.

Wear an N95 Mask Outdoors

If you’re going to be working out in your yard, shoveling dirt and moving around leaves, you might want some extra protection from spores. Wearing an N95 mask can really protect your respiratory system from all those unseen particles.

[Related: How to Treat Seasonal Allergies]

Stay Indoors in the Morning

As if you needed another reason to sleep in! Pollen counts are highest in the early morning, between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. Limiting your exposure to outdoor pollen during this time window can help you avoid seasonal allergy triggers.

Use Prescription-Strength Antihistamines and Nasal Steroids

Luckily, you can now buy over-the-counter prescription-strength antihistamines, nasal steroids and eye drops at your local drugstore. These treatments can reduce symptoms by blocking histamines and opening your airways. 

However, they’re not permanent cures. If you find yourself depending on antihistamines or store-bought drops, consider making an appointment with a specialist.

Replace Carpet With Hard Flooring

One last thing you can do to help reduce your reaction to fall allergies in Texas is to replace your home’s carpet with hard flooring. Compared to carpeting and rugs, hardwood floors don’t hold onto dust, hair, dirt and debris that can cause allergies. Plus, they’re easier to sweep and mop.

[Related: Why Breathing Leads to Better Mindfulness]

Take a Stand Against Fall Allergies in Texas With Dr. Matorin

Do you struggle to keep up with your health but run into roadblocks when it comes to seasonal allergies? Maybe it’s time to speak with a specialist.

Dr. Matorin believes that together, patients and doctors can find lasting solutions to allergy symptoms. Schedule an appointment today! 

Featured image via Unsplash

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