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Is this weather making you sneeze?

Our recent rains have been great for our plants, but not so good for allergy sufferers. Grasses and molds have grown with the wet weather. Humidity, heat, wind, and other weather conditions can all cause allergy flare-ups, said Juan L. Rodriguez Ramos, MD, ARC Allergy & Asthma, in this recent article in the Austin American Statesman.

Most days, molds and grasses have been in the medium level, added Kelly H. Simpson, MD, ARC Allergy & Asthma, but sometimes it's just the change in weather that triggers some people's allergies. “The fact that it keeps going back and forth could be bothering some people,” she said.

Alleviate your allergy symptoms

If you're feeling your allergies, Dr. Rodriguez Ramos and Dr. Simpson recommend doing these things to lessen them:

  • Stay indoors.
  • Keep windows in cars and in your home closed.
  • Leave your shoes at the door to not bring in allergens. Change clothes once you come inside.
  • Wear a mask, hat and sunglasses outside to create a physical barrier for allergens.
  • Shower at night to wash off the pollen.
  • Towel off pets who go outside before they come inside to not allow them to bring in allergens into the house.
  • Use an air purifier with a HEPA filter, especially in bedrooms.
  • Use a saline rinse such as a spray or a neti pot.
  • Treat the symptoms. If your eyes are itchy, use antihistamine eye drops. If you're having a lot of nasal congestion, use a spray anti-inflammatory such as Flonase. For itchy throat or nose, you can use an antihistamine such as Claritin, Zyrtec of Allegra. You can combine a Flonase with one of the antihistamines to get relief if you're having different symptoms.

To confirm what allergens are currently circulating, check the ARC Austin Allergy Calendar.

Is it allergies?

Often, people think they are suffering from allergies, but in fact it might be something else. Allergies are marked by itchy eyes, nose, and throat. People do not have fever with allergies. If you have a fever, feel achy, and have a dry cough, suspect a virus instead. If other people in your family have been sick or if it lasts only 5 to 10 days, that also points to a virus. "So often people blame things on allergies," Dr. Simpson said. "We are still not out of the pandemic."

Make an appointment with an allergist today

Dr. Rodriguez Ramos recommends seeing an allergist “if you are really having a lot of problems, or if it's interfering with quality of life.” If allergies cause other health concerns, such sinus infections, that also would be a reason to see a doctor.

Make an appointment with Dr. Rodriguez or Dr. Simpson today at ARCAppointments.com.

Tags: Austin American Statesman, Seasonal Allergies

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