WACO, Texas - Most of us are happy about warmer temperatures hitting Central Texas, but there is a downside - an increase in allergies.
Close to about 50 million people in the United States will experience some type of allergy reactions.
Central Texans know allergies are a year-round problem - but with our mild winter, this spring could be worse than usual. Trees are pollinating earlier, and it will last longer.
A runny nose, congestion, sneezing and watery eyes are all symptoms of allergies.
"The outlook for this season is good for me, but bad for allergy sufferers. Waco, today, is #3 in the nation as far as the highest pollen count. So in general, it's pretty rough out there," says Texan Allergy and Sinus Center nurse practitioner Kris Bartee.
Depending on your allergies, the weather can play a role.
"Dry conditions can definitely exacerbate everything just because things just hang in the air. And the rain can help by getting the pollen out of the air. It's a little bit of a double leg sword though, because the more rain you have, the better the plants do then they pollinate later," Bartee describes.
The air quality numbers for Friday were high, and the high pollen numbers aren't going anywhere for awhile because of the warm temperatures and strong winds.
"What's starting to spread up is a lot of oak and other trees, and as we move further into the summer, we will start experiencing a lot of the grasses, as well," Bartee says.
Dealing with allergies can be easy for some.
"Some people are able to take an over-the-counter antihistamine. For more severe allergy sufferers, it's useful to come see an allergy specialist," Bartee explains.
Bartee says Waco doesn't really have a season. It's all-year round.
"Unfortunately in Waco, there is no start and there is no end. Like I said, we have a pretty high pollen count usually with the cedar, and with the oaks, are problematic recently. So there is not much of a downtime in Waco," Bartee says.
You might have heard that last year was the worse allergy season, but looking at the rate we are going, this year might be the worse year yet.
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