Causes and treatments for allergies in Austin
While Austin is a great place to live, it’s also unfortunately one of the top five worst areas in the world for allergies. If you suffer from frequent sneezing, swelling, hives, or cold-like symptoms—particularly if your reactions are seasonal—you may be allergic.
Allergy testing at the ENT Center of Austin can help you determine if you’re suffering from seasonal allergies.
The allergy seasons in Austin
While most geographic regions have two pollen seasons that cause allergies, fall and spring, the Austin area has three of them.
- Fall: The main source of allergy-causing pollen during the fall months in Austin are weeds, especially ragweed. The Austin fall allergy season lasts longer than in other parts of the country, running from mid-August to early November.
- Winter: In Austin, it’s Mountain Cedar pollen season from December to February. The pollen counts from cedar trees in central Texas are the highest of any plant in the world. If you have a cedar allergy, known as “cedar fever,” you may have severe symptoms during the winter whenever you go outdoors, even when using over-the-counter allergy medication.
- Spring: There are two pollen stages during spring in Austin. The first is from February to early June, when pollen is released from trees such as oak, elm, ash, and pecan. The second is grass pollen, which is released from March through September—though in hot, dry summers, there may be very low pollen counts from July to early August.
Treating allergies in Austin
There are several treatments available for allergy sufferers. While avoiding allergens is the best treatment, this is rarely possible particularly in Austin, where pollen and other allergens are around for the majority of the year.
Medication can be effective for controlling the symptoms of allergies. There are both over-the-counter and prescription forms of allergy medication, including oral antihistamines, nasal sprays, and lung inhalers. However, these medications often have side effects, and don’t treat the underlying sensitivity that causes allergies.
For most allergy sufferers, the best treatment option is allergy shots, or immunotherapy. With several courses of allergy shots, you can reduce both allergy symptoms and the need for medication. Immunotherapy provides allergy treatment without shots, has a cumulative effect, and can reduce symptoms for years with regular courses.
The ENT Center of Austin offers immunotherapy injections at all of our three locations. Please check the calendar below for today's daily shot hours at your preferred location, as these times are subject to change due to emergency situations.