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Allergies Running High This Summer

Photo by Jessica Lucia
Pollen, whipped around by windy conditions, has some Central Texas residents sneezing, wheezing and sniffling their way through summer.

Have you been sneezing more this summer? A victim to itchy, watery eyes? Well, you’re not alone. Dr. Dana Sprute, the Program Director at the UT Southwestern Austin Family Medicine Residency Program, notes allergies in Austin are running higher than usual.

"We’re seeing a lot more asthma and emphysema flares,” Sprute said. “And even people who usually don’t have allergic rhinitis problems are coming in with eye itching and sneezing and nasal congestion and allergy symptoms that usually aren’t particularly vulnerable. So this has been a bad season this year." 

Normally, pollen from ragweed, mountain cedar and oak trees are the allergy culprits. But this dry, windy summer has caused an increase in the amount of dust in the air. Without rain, the pollen and dust continue to circulate around the city—and into our respiratory systems—instead of being knocked out of the air and washed into the soil.

As the hot, dry, windy summer continues, Sprute suggests that allergy sufferers try a self-care regime. She recommends nasal saline spray and Neti Pots, anti-histamines, and wearing dust masks while outside working. 

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