Allergy season is just getting started, how to protect yourself

It is a feeling people in Austin are all too familiar with this time of year. A time when everyone knows somebody that is sneezing, coughing, and feeling flat out terrible.

But why, in a city as healthy and active as Austin are so many people affected by allergies?

"We are in a unique situation in Austin and Central Texas in that there is a lot of pollination that happens throughout the year and here in Central Texas though," Dr. John Villacis, of St. David's North Austin Medical Center, said, "mount cedar allergy is one of the strongest pollinators that we know of n the nation but we tend to have it here (the heaviest in) December through February."

Dr. Jordan Laroe, of Austin Regional Clinic, said Austin is a "brutal town for allergies."

"Statistically speaking they say about 10 to 20 percent of adults have seasonal allergies but in Austin it seems like it is pretty much every person you know or at least every other person you know," Laroe said.

Doctors said December, January, and February are the heaviest times of pollination and while it seems impossible there are things you can do to prevent becoming a victim of allergy season.

"My first recommendation, kind of first line for people is, nasal sprays," Laroe said.

Laroe and other doctors said any one of the many available over the counter sprays should do the trick, as well as the typical allergy pills.

"(You have to) get started early. Don't wait until you are absolutely miserable to get started on medications," Laroe said.

There are also a few things you can do in and outside of your house to decrease your contact with allergens.The first is by checking the daily pollen counts before heading out the door.

"You can limit your exposure to the pollens, try to stay inside on days where pollen counts are high, wash and change your clothes when you come inside, change the air filters in your house," Laroe said.

Although you may not see it be warned.

"It is out there and if you're sensitive to the pollen, it's not just realistic to stay inside for December, January and February," Laroe said.


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