Still recovering from springtime allergies? This year, spring allergy season in Houston was more active than usual. Since the ice storm we had in February 2021 delayed the start of spring allergies, you might have expected a less severe season.
However, the freezing temperatures actually acted like insulation for plants and trees. As a result, pollen was simply delayed.
While we’re still ahead of autumn, it’s best to know how you can prepare for Houston’s 2021 fall allergy season. The following strategies can be effective, and if you’re looking for extra support, a professional allergist will help you stay well – even when allergy season is in full swing.
Know What Pollen Is in the Air
The best way to avoid allergy symptoms is to practice awareness. If you know what kind of pollen aggravates your allergies, monitor the spores in the air to see when you might be at risk.
Every day, the Houston Health Department updates the spore levels of grass, trees, and mold. The Department also keeps an archive of previous years’ pollen counts so you can see what months are more prone to certain pollen.
Once you identify the allergens that cause you to have reactions, it’s easier to track what days and months you might experience symptoms.
[Related: The Three Most Common Fall Allergies]
Mold spores are typically higher during hot, humid periods near the end of summer. Be especially careful during the middle of September to October for mold spores in Houston.
In 2020, tree pollen was more intense during September and October. While tree pollen fell in October, the measurement was still rated as “heavy” until November.
Grass pollen is active for longer periods of time in the Houston area. Houston’s Health Department reported higher levels of grass pollen in October than September or November.
[Related: How to Social Distance Yourself From Pollen]
Four Ways to Keep Your Allergies in Check
Ready to tackle allergy season? Follow these tips.
1. Plan When to Be Outside
Limit your time outside when spore levels are higher. Typically, your allergies are most susceptible to reactions from early in the morning until late afternoon.
Pollen counts rise beginning at dawn and fall as the day progresses. However, on some days when spore and pollen counts are higher than normal, your allergies may react even when levels are low. It’s best to always monitor your symptoms and pay attention to how you feel.
2. Avoid Yard Work
If possible, avoid being outside for prolonged periods of time gardening or building the yard of your dreams. If you can’t help yourself, try to wear a face mask to help limit your exposure to spores.
3. Wash Your Clothes and Bedding
Frequent loads of laundry can help allergies.
If you’re outside for a while, wash your clothes when you come home. Washing your bed sheets, pillowcases, and blankets is a good way to avoid a reaction from dust mites.
Using warm water will eliminate dust mites from your bedding. These microscopic creatures love to congregate on rugs and floor mats, so make sure you’re washing them, too.
4. Clean the House Often
Keeping your house clean is another good way of helping your allergies indoors.
Dust mites are active during the warm and humid months of the year. Cleaning often can reduce the number of mites in your home and effectively “allergy-proof” your space. Pay extra attention to floorboards and underneath furniture.
[Related: Can the Weather Make Your Allergies Worse?]
Meet With an Allergist
Taking care of your body is important during Houston’s fall allergy season. Unmanaged allergies can result in hay fever, asthma, sinus infections, and other health complications. And sometimes, over-the-counter medications may not bring the relief you’re looking for.
This year, don’t let allergies keep you from enjoying a day outside or make you feel unwell in your own home. Meet with an allergist so that you can put a stop to your recurring symptoms.
At Pasha Snoring & Sinus Center, we help you identify your allergies and create a treatment plan. We dedicate ourselves to finding the best, longest-lasting solutions for your asthma and allergy symptoms.