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Sneezing season: February's winter weather leads to more severe allergy season

Posted at 6:11 PM, Apr 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-01 20:21:05-04

Spring has sprung, and so has allergy season, but this year may be more severe than years past.

Millions of people around the world suffer from seasonal allergies. Those symptoms are all too familiar to Central Texans.

”Usually things like runny nose, stuffy nose, itchy eyes, some sore throat or drainage, those are common symptoms. For people that have asthma, they may notice that their asthma gets a little flared up if they’re going outside,” explained Dr. Ephraim Thaller, allergist at the Allergy and Asthma Center.

Each allergy season has its own source of pollen and allergy-causing plants. Right now, that source would be trees.

”Spring usually goes from about February to June, so we’re looking at trees like oak and mulberry, ashes, elms. It really depends on the time in the spring,” said Dr. Laura Weiser Erlandson, associate professor of biology at Texas A&M University - Central Texas.

This year is a little different. Thanks to February's extreme weather, we are seeing high pollen counts for plants that are not normally seen in the spring season.

”Because of that freeze that we had back in February, the cedar has been delayed, so we're still getting some cedar counts event now,” said Dr. Thaller.

There are simple things you can do to avoid heavy exposure to pollen, including not opening the windows in your home.

”If you do that, then on a high pollen count day, you're going to get a lot of pollen in your house,” said Dr. Weiser Erlandson.

Experts also recommend showering as soon as you get home and wiping down household pets after they've been outdoors. These steps will help to keep the pollen count down in your home.

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