Austin is called the Allergy Capital of the World for a good reason. Austin has airborne allergens throughout the year. In the fall, we have “Hay Fever” caused by Ragweed from mid-August to mid-November. Come winter, we have “Cedar Fever” caused by cedar pollen from December to February. During Spring, we have Oak, Elm, Pecan, and Ash tree pollen. In addition, we have Mold and Grass that cause problems throughout the year. Check out our 5-day allergy report to plan your week accordingly.
Austin Allergy Calendar
If you suffer from allergies, Austin is probably not the best place for you. The city is one of the top 5 worst places for allergies, and it's not hard to see why. Austin has three distinct pollen seasons, and each one seems to last forever.
In the fall, ragweed and other weeds release pollen from mid-August to early November. This season is longer than in other parts of the country.
During spring, Oak and other trees like Ash, Elm, and Pecan pollinate from February to early June. Grasses pollinate from March through September.
Come winter, Mountain Cedar pollen season extends from December to February and is unique to Central Texas. If you're considering moving to Austin, be prepared for a lot of sneezing.
And if that weren't enough, in the winter, Mountain Cedar pollen season extends from December to February, which is unique to Central Texas.
How to monitor the weather to manage allergies
Managing your asthma or allergies means being aware of your triggers and taking steps to avoid them. Environmental allergens like pollen and mold are common, but you might not realize that the weather can also indirectly affect your asthma and allergies.
Hot or cold temperatures, high or low humidity, thunderstorms, rain, and wind can help pollinate, propagate pollen which inflames the airways and can lead to flare-ups. People with respiratory conditions often breathe through their mouths, which brings weather-related irritants directly to the lungs. It also prevents the nose from regulating air temperature and humidity.
How to manage weather allergy symptoms
The key to managing allergy symptoms is identifying your triggers. You might find that cold air exacerbates your asthma symptoms, or that pollen makes you miserable. Allergies are unique to each person, so pinpointing what makes your symptoms worse is essential. The following are various tips you can use to manage allergy symptoms.
Use an app or weather forecasting site
Keep an eye on potential changes in the weather that might affect your allergies by using an app or weather forecasting site. You can even sign up for alerts via email or text, so you're always in the know!
Limit outdoor exercise
If the weather conditions are not ideal or the air quality is not up to par, it's best to limit outdoor exercise.
Wear a mask
It's essential to wear a mask when gardening or cutting grass to limit your exposure to particles and mold spores.
Use a scarf to shield your mouth and nose
In cold weather, use a scarf to protect your mouth and nose. The scarf will warm and humidify the air before you breathe, reducing the risk of shocks to your airways.
Keep humidity levels in your home steady
If you have asthma or allergies, air conditioning, dehumidifiers, or humidifiers can help keep your airways from getting inflamed. These devices can also help keep the air in your home clean and free of pollutants.
Take all your asthma medication as prescribed
Make sure you're taking all your asthma medication as your doctor prescribes. These help you to control your asthma daily, as well as during a flare-up.
How does seasonal weather impact allergies?
Weather is the main reason why Austin has such prolonged and intense allergy seasons. Most seasonal allergies in Austin are related to local tress and grasses. Austin (which is a part of central Texas) has mild weather for most of the year. This type of weather is very conducive for these trees to grow and pollinate.
Springtime is often equated with allergy season because plants bloom, and pollen and mold start circulating in the air. However, did you know that tree pollen levels are highest in April and May, depending on where you live? This is earlier for southern and south-western states. Grass pollen levels also start to rise in late spring and early summer. So if you're someone who suffers from allergies, it's essential to be aware of these things!
Grass pollen is most prevalent and intense during late May to early July, as dry weather combined with strong winds help spread pollen far and wide. Unfortunately, thunderstorms with high winds can also cause allergens to travel greater distances – especially tiny particles of pollen that are more easily inhaled and can penetrate deeper into the lungs.
For those with seasonal allergies, ragweed season is the worst time of year. Ragweed plants release pollen into the air, which can cause nasal and eye allergies for many people. The ideal conditions for ragweed pollen are warm temperatures, reduced humidity, and breezy conditions. Ragweed season typically begins in late summer and peaks in September, but can last until the first frost.
Winter in Austin can trigger some pretty severe allergic reactions in some people due to the prevalent cedar trees in the area. Cedar fever is more common than most people think, and someone suffering from it may mistake it for the flu.
Common seasonal allergy symptoms
Seasonal allergies can come on suddenly and produce symptoms often mistaken for a cold or the flu. However, the treatment for allergies is different from that of a virus. You likely have seasonal allergies if you suffer from any of the following symptoms. You may experience allergies for the first time if you've never had them. Common allergy symptoms include:
- Aggravated asthma symptoms
- Itchy eyes, nose, mouth, throat, or ears
- Increased wheezing or coughing
- Nasal congestion
- Red, swollen, watery, or generally irritated eyes
- Runny nose
How to Survive and Thrive During the Austin Allergy
It's important to remember that pollen isn't harmful, despite its havoc on our allergies. When we breathe pollen, our bodies mistake it for a foreign invader and produce antibodies. So basically, our defense system causes the symptoms of seasonal allergies.
At Frontier Allergy, we have plenty of treatment options for seasonal allergies. These treatments include immunotherapy options such as sublingual or subcutaneous immunotherapy (allergy shot therapy).
Written by: Dr. Neha Reshamwala
NPI number: 1780874578
Page last reviewed: 03/20/21