Allergy symptoms such as a runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion and watery eyes happen when our body confuses harmless allergens for harmful antigens and releases a substance called histamine into the bloodstream. But what are the allergy causes that make Houstonians red-eyed and sneezy?
Allergy season in Houston usually starts in January and extends until the start of cooler weather in the Fall. During this period of time there are three main environmental agents that tend to cause most people’s allergies:
From January to March, the main cause of allergies for Houstonians are trees, more specifically tree pollen. The most common producers of pollen in this area are Oak, Cedar, Elm, Pine, Ash, Hackberry, Pecan and Cedar Elm.
From March to July grass counts in Houston are at their highest. The most common local, allergy-causing grass types include Timothy, Bermuda, Bahia, Orchard, Sweet Vernal, Red Top and blue grass.
As the Fall sets in and rain fall starts to increase, the high levels of moisture in the environment lead to higher mold counts. Mold allergies are relatively higher in Houston than in other parts of the country because of its high levels of humidity. The molds common to Houston include Cladosporium, Ascomycetes, Alternaria, Basidiomycetes and various Dermatiaceous or pigmented fungal species.
The easiest way to prevent allergy attacks is by avoidance of the allergy causes. In the case of pollen and grass, staying indoors when there are high levels of these allergens outside is the way to go. The Daily Pollen and Mold Spore Report website provided by the City of Houston is an excellent tool to make an informed decision on whether today is a good day to have a picnic in the park.
However, avoidance is not always a practical choice. In that case, allergy sufferers can resort to taking allergy medication to treat their symptoms. Another option is to undergo certain tests to identify the underlying allergy causes and then treat those causes to completely get rid of allergies. For more information on allergy treatments please visit Dr. Raza Pasha’s website.