With the temperatures already increasing, there is no denying that summer is coming. Soon all the ”secret” local watering holes will be packed with people, the sounds of Blues On The Green will fill Zilker park, and the line for Barton Springs will go on for what seems like forever. Along with the warm weather, the Texas wind brings something more insidious. Clouds of pollen and other allergens will fill the air, bringing itchy watering eyes and sneezing to the masses. We’ll address some frequently asked questions below to help you through the summer with as little discomfort as possible:
Allergies (and their symptoms) occur when your immune system overreacts to something that is harmless to most people but triggers a reaction in anyone sensitive to it. Any substance that causes this reaction is an allergen. Perennial allergens are known to afflict people year-round, while seasonal allergens generally wreak havoc for a few months at a time. There are two categories of allergies, perennial and seasonal. Perennial allergens in Austin include a variety of molds, dust mites, pet dander, and even cockroaches. The best example of a seasonal allergen in central Texas is Mountain Cedar (infamous for causing Cedar Fever among Austinites).
Here are a few of the most common signs that someone is suffering from allergies, including but not limited to:
There are a few possible reasons why allergies would affect you intermittently. It could be that you are most afflicted by seasonal allergies, and once the season is over, you should feel better. It could be that you are sensitive to a perennial allergen that is high at the moment, such as mold after a few days of heavy rain. During the summer months, pollen, mold and insect stings are common allergy culprits. With how quickly the weather changes in central Texas, your immune system is always kept guessing, and may not always react positively.
There are a few precautions you can take to try and nip seasonal allergies in the bud before they become a bigger problem for you. Some of these solutions are temporary, while others are long term:
Summer days are on the way, along with high pollen counts. Having a basic knowledge of what is causing your allergies and how to minimize the effects of the allergens on your body won’t make the summer weather any cooler, but it will help you feel better. Changing your A/C filter regularly, as well as finding which other remedies work for you, will help bring total comfort to your home no matter the temperature or allergy forecast.