Signs that It’s Allergy Season in Houston
October 1, 2018
Reviewed by Michael Kaplan, MD
It can be difficult to recognize the signs that it’s allergy season in Houston. Since the line between fall and winter in Houston is blurry, the line between fall seasonal allergies and winter seasonal allergies in Houston can be blurry, too.
To make matters more confusing, it rarely gets below freezing here. Because of this, it’s a pretty high likelihood that we’ll be dealing year round with what many other regions call “seasonal” allergies (including the 5 most common allergies). Even so, there are still a few clear-cut signs that it’s allergy season in Houston. Let’s take a look at a few of them right now.
Fall allergy season in Houston
Across the east, midwest, and even Texas, fall’s seasonal allergies are synonymous with ragweed season. When you see cars covered with ragweed pollen (a light, yellow-green dusting), that’s a sure sign it’s allergy season in Houston.
But what is ragweed pollen?
Ragweed pollen comes from the ragweed plant, of which there are 17 species that grow in the United States. Each ragweed plant produces over one billion pollen grains (about a million grains per day of the plant’s life).
Ragweed pollen is light and travels easily on the wind. It has even been found 400 miles out to sea and two miles up into the atmosphere. In other words, ragweed pollen can definitely travel across state lines.
Ragweed typically dies after the first frost of the year. However, since we’re known for our lingering falls and mild winters, Houston’s ragweed season can be especially long.
Houston’s pollen count history shows that ragweed pollen counts are highest from August to November.
When the weather changes quickly, that’s another sign that it’s allergy season in Houston. Sudden weather changes can trigger changes in flora and can also affect barometric pressure. Changes both in barometric pressure and allergies can contribute to sinus problems such as sinus headaches and congestion. When barometric pressure and allergy changes occur at the same time, you could be in for an especially tough ride.
Winter allergy season in Houston
Dust, Dander, and Mold
One of the top signs that it’s allergy season in Houston is simply when we start spending more time indoors. This is when we begin to stir up dust and dander.
What exactly are dust and dander?
Dust is made up of minute particles that come from all kinds of sources, like soil and pollution. Dander, on the other hand, is also made up of minute particles, but it’s shed from the skin of animals.
Along with mold, dust and dander are year-round allergens you may encounter more frequently during the winter when you (and your pets) are spending more time inside. To combat these allergens, make sure to clean, vacuum, and replace your air filters regularly.
When people ask, “Is it allergy season in Texas?” they are likely referring to cedar fever and its notoriously rough effect on Central Texans. Cedar fever occurs when male “Mountain Cedars” (ashe junipers) release their pollen in mid to late December through January.
While cedar fever isn’t as big of an issue in Houston, cedar pollen is still prominent enough to add to your Houston allergy symptoms.
If you’re traveling through Central Texas this holiday season, make sure to pack antihistamines and nasal sprays. For more information on lingering symptoms of cedar fever (and allergies in general), check out our blog post that answers the question, “Can you cough from allergies?”
You can spend all four seasons sans allergy symptoms
For the team at Kaplan Sinus Relief, one of the top signs that it’s allergy season in Houston is when we experience a spike in patients suffering from allergies. Some of our patients are able to treat their seasonal allergies by taking OTC medicines, keeping their house clean, and eating foods that clear sinuses.
Still, many Houstonians and those living in the areas surrounding Houston simply can’t find allergy relief using traditional medicines. That is, not until they see Dr. Kaplan for balloon sinuplasty.
Dr. Kaplan is one of the top providers of balloon sinuplasty in Houston and the surrounding areas, and he has made it so that many Houstonians are able to stop looking for the signs that it’s allergy season in Houston.
For more information on balloon sinuplasty, a non-invasive, in-office procedure that can be completed in less than 20 minutes, call Kaplan Sinus Relief at 713-766-1818 and schedule an appointment today.