Allergies in Waco: What you need to know
An allergy occurs when the body’s immune system sees harmless substances like pet dander, mold, food protein, or plant pollen as a threat. Antibodies mistakenly identify the protein in the allergen as an invading enemy and take defensive action – which is where your allergy symptoms come in.
The reaction can be mild and temporary, or severe enough to need medications or even a trip to the emergency room. What many people think of as seasonal allergies are commonly referred to as hay fever, while the medical term is “seasonal allergic rhinitis.”
With the relatively mild weather in Waco, flowers and trees bloom early in the year and continue producing pollen. Allergies are stronger and persist over an extended period.
Common Waco Allergies
Cedar and Oak are two top tree allergens that hit Waco and Central Texas hard. But we also see Mulberry, Ash and Elm in the mix.
Cedar season hits just after the first freeze, which in Waco, usually means in December. The cedar season lasts through early to mid-February.
Oak season starts in late March to early April and is known for leaving a light film of yellowy – green dust that covers just about everything from cars, to outdoor furniture and everything in between. Oak season typically dies down around in mid-May.
These start to show up in June and can last through December, with a particularly intense burst of ragweed that usually hits in the fall. Wind-blown ragweed allergens can travel for hundreds of miles. Just one plant produces more than one billion grains of pollen per season.
Grasses are another common allergen that make our Waco pollen counts soar, usually from June to late August. There are many types of grasses that can cause grass allergies, and it’s possible to be allergic to more than one type of grass.
Mold thrives in damp, humid, and cool environments, especially in decaying plant matter – leaves and grass clippings, compost piles and rotting, wet wood. Mold spores spread like pollen allergens. Mold spreads easily indoors and with the mild weather in Waco, it can thrive even in winter whereas in other climates it would normally goes dormant until temperatures warm up again.
Click here to see a full list of the allergens in Waco!
Signs that you could be suffering from allergies
- Runny nose or nasal congestion
- Scratchy throat
- Itchy, stinging, and watery eyes
- Feeling tired or having trouble sleeping
- Coughing and wheezing
Remember, allergy symptoms can be similar to a common cold or the flu! Check out our guide to help you tell the difference.
Additional Tips to Control Your Allergies in Waco
- Check your Waco pollen count regularly! There are many apps that can easily track many cities at once.
- Change your clothes and remove shoes when coming in from the outdoors.
- Stay inside with closed doors and windows when pollen counts are at their highest.
- Change your air filters each season, so trapped mold and other allergens do not get released into the house.
- Install a HEPA filter to eliminate harmful allergens and particles.
- Use a dehumidifier set to keep indoor humidity below 50%.
- Consider replacing indoor carpet with wood or tile.
Being a Waco resident usually means being allergic to one of the many allergens in the air. At Texan Allergy & Sinus Center our allergy specialists are highly trained in testing, diagnosing, and treating allergies. If you’re tired of taking over the counter medications with no long term relief, come see us and request an appointment today!