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Updated:

January 20, 2020

What are the worst allergies in Corpus Christi?

While Texas is known for big skies, big hats,and big cattle, something else is big here: allergies. That’s because the state’s warmer climate encourages the widespread growth of many pollen-producing plants and other outdoor allergens. While they may not be as bad as other places further inland, coastal cities like Corpus Christi, Texas,are no exception to allergy troubles.

Fortunately, you don’t have to leave Corpus Christi to find relief from seasonal and environmental allergies. Once you understand what triggers your allergies, you can learn how to manage your exposure to those triggers.

What causes allergies in Corpus Christi?

Climate can have a big impact on seasonal allergies. Because Corpus Christi has a subtropical climate, with short, mild winters, many different trees and plants can grow year-round. This means that allergy sufferers are less likely to find relief in the winter, when the first frost of the year in cooler locations usually stops the production and spread of pollen.

Here are some of the major allergy triggers in Corpus Christi:

Tree Allergies

Starting in early spring and lasting well into summer, many different trees produce pollen that can make allergies miserable in coastal Texas. Pollen is usually spread by wind, causing allergies far and wide!

One of the most common causes is oak pollen,which tends to cause the yellow dust you may see coating cars and lawn furniture. Other tree species in the area include birch, elm, pine, pecan, and hickory.

Grasses

Grass pollen is a common allergen in the early summer. Mowing the lawn and moving through tall grasses can disturb grass pollen, triggering allergy symptoms. Big bluestem and broomsedge are two native grasses that can cause allergy problems.

Weeds 

Ragweed is a common allergen not only in Texas, but throughout the United States. One ragweed plant in a single season can produce a billion grains of pollen! The ragweed season usually starts in mid-August and runs through October and even into November.

Mold

Like the Gulf Coast in general, Corpus Christi experiences two primary seasons: a wet season, lasting from April to October,and a dry season, lasting from November to March. Damp weather can trigger the release of certain types of mold spores, another common allergen.

Cockroaches

A warm, damp climate is ideal for many creepy crawlies, including several species of cockroach that call Texas home. Many people develop allergies to cockroach droppings and saliva, especially in urban environments.

What to do about allergies in Corpus Christi

Are you one of the many individuals affected by allergies in Corpus Christi? Some of the most common symptoms of seasonal and environmental allergies (also known as allergic rhinitis) in Corpus Christi are:

●    Runny nose, sneezing, itchy nose, or nasal congestion

●    Sore or scratchy throat

●    Itchy, stinging, red, or watery eyes

●    Dry, itchy skin, rash, or hives

●    Coughing and wheezing

●    Headaches or sinus pressure

Many of these symptoms may resemble a cold. However, a cold usually lasts about a week and tends to start gradually,usually with a sore throat, then congestion, then a cough. Allergy symptoms, however, usually show up at the same time, and will last as long as you are exposed to the allergen--sometimes as long as weeks or even months.

How to treat and control your allergies

It can be difficult to control your exposure to seasonal allergens. Fortunately, there are a range of options to help limit your symptoms and help you breathe easier.

Over-the-counter medications

●    Antihistamines: These medications block the effects of the chemical histamine, which is responsible for allergy symptoms like sneezing, itchy eyes, and runny nose. Some of these can cause drowsiness; most should be taken every 24 hours.

●    Decongestants: Available in either oral or nasal versions, this type of medication can help relieve a stuffy nose or sinus pressure.

●    Intranasal corticosteroids: These medication scan be highly effective against allergic rhinitis, helping to reduce sneezing,nasal congestion, and runny nose.

Steps to take at home

●    Change your air filters at least every six months.

●    Stay on top of dust, mold, and pest infestations.

●    Keep windows closed when pollen or mold counts are high.

●    Install a HEPA filter to reduce allergens circulating in your home.

●    Shower (or at least wash your hands and face) and change your clothes after spending time outside.

●    Leave outdoor clothing, like shoes and jackets, close to the door and out of the bedroom.

●    Change bed sheets frequently, and use allergy covers on your pillows, mattresses, and box springs.

●    Do not dry clothing outside.

Limit outdoor exposure

●    Many different websites or apps can help you track air quality and allergen levels. Avoid prolonged time outdoors when pollen or mold counts are high.

●    Wear protective equipment for outdoor work, including lawn care and gardening.

●    If you have allergen-producing trees on your property, keep them trimmed to reduce pollen production.

●    Keep pets indoors, or give them regular baths to keep them from tracking pollen and other allergens into your home.

Living in Corpus Christi has many benefits,and you don’t have to let allergies keep you from enjoying them. If it feels like you’ve tried everything and you still have difficulty managing your allergies, contact the specialists at Aspire Allergy & Sinus. Our experts are ready to help you get long-term relief from your allergies. Contact us to request an appointment today!

Christina Placker, MPAS, PA-C

Christina Placker completed her undergraduate studies from Texas A&M University and went on to receive her Master's in Physician Assistant Studies at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. She was also born and raised in Houston! She spent 7 years working in Orthopedics before transitioning to the specialty of allergy and sinus. Christina enjoys baking and crocheting as well as spending time outdoors and traveling.

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