Dealing With Allergies

October 21, 2001

Texas is known for great weather, beautiful flowers and trees. It is also home to allergies! In the U.S., one out of five people suffer from seasonal allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hay fever. This is characterized by sneezing spells, runny nose, head / nasal congestion, and itchy or watery eyes.
Interestingly, trees, not flowers, are the main cause of allergic rhinitis. Specifically, pollen coming from trees such as pines, oaks, pecans, maple and juniper is responsible for these allergies. Most trees in Texas pollinate in February and March. For the most part, flower pollen is taken by insects and does not make it to people’s noses or sinuses.
Here are some helpful hints for dealing with these allergies:

  • Minimize outdoor activity in the morning between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m., when pollen levels are highest.
  • Keep car windows closed when driving.
  • Get help for lawn mowing and leaf raking. These tasks stir up pollens and molds.
  • Keep windows closed at night to keep pollen and mold spores outside.
  • Don’t hang sheets or clothes outdoors to dry, as pollens and molds can collect on them.
  • Vacuum the house frequently to remove animal dander and dust.
  • Use allergen-proof covers on mattresses and pillows.
  • Replace central air and heater filters monthly.

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