What to Expect this Spring Season
Spring 2023 is just around the corner, so if you are a spring allergy sufferer, the time to prepare is now! Here’s what you need to know:
Just as mountain cedar pollen abates in our area, the new growth and beauty of spring deliver another set of allergens that can cause more miserable allergy symptoms. Trees such as oak, hackberry, ash, and willow release their pollen as the temperatures warm. These tree pollens can be present from late February all the way to May.
Trees produce pollen for reproduction, and that pollen can be spread great distances by the wind. Warm, windy days can be especially challenging for those allergic to airborne pollen.
Pollen and other allergens play a role in many Texans’ lives during the springtime. What is in the air this time of the year, and what can you do to enjoy the great outdoors in the coming months? Learn more:
Common Texas tree pollens include:
Live oak pollen is especially challenging, and visible, during the spring season. The fine-yellow dust coats everything from cars and patios, to pets and people as well! This allergen is especially troublesome on warm, dry, windy days.
Those allergic to pollen experience moderate to severe symptoms that may include:
- Watery, puffy, and itchy eyes
- Stuffy nose
- Difficulty breathing
What can you do to avoid triggers and reduce symptoms?
If you want to be outside during the spring season, it is hard to avoid airborne allergens. However, there are ways to minimize symptoms caused by pollen:
- Keep your car and house windows closed and run the air conditioner
- Change your air filters regularly
- Remove shoes and clothing when you get home
- Bathe in the evenings to remove pollen from your hair and skin
- Wear glasses/sunglasses when outside to keep pollen out of your eyes
- Wipe down your pets’ paws and fur with a damp cloth after they have been outside
- Clean bedding weekly, with hot water, to remove any allergens
- Monitor the pollen counts in your area. You may need to adjust outdoor activities on high pollen days. Follow us on social media for daily pollen updates for San Antonio – Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
- See a board-certified allergy expert for an accurate diagnosis and customized treatment plan for your specific allergens.
Treating for Your Spring Allergies
The first step in treating allergies is an accurate diagnosis. Allergy testing will identify your specific triggers, and your provider will develop a plan to reduce, or eliminate, your symptoms. Treatment plans may include:
–Over the Counter medications: OTC meds can be helpful for some sufferers. But remember, you must start them in advance of symptoms onset for the best results
–Prescription medications: This may include nasal corticosteroid sprays, antihistamines, and decongestants. Biologic therapies may be prescribed for those with difficult to control allergic asthma and some skin conditions.
–Allergy Immunotherapy, allergy shots, or allergy drops: This therapy works by giving gradually increasing doses of the allergen to which you are allergic. Over time, your immune system becomes less sensitive to the substance thereby reducing, or even eliminating, your symptoms. Immunotherapy is the closest thing to a cure for allergies.
Speak with one of AllergySA’s board-certified providers to diagnose your condition and develop a plan to treat your spring, or year-round, allergy symptoms. Call us today at (210) 616-0882.