Fort Worth

Here’s the nasty stuff that’s making you sneeze. Why it’s only going to get worse

Consider it the perfect storm.

That nasty winter allergy, mountain cedar, is still hanging on even as the spring trees have started pollinating with a vengeance.

“I’m having many people come in with sneezing fits, itchy eyes and asthma attacks,” said Fort Worth allergist Dr. James Haden. “And this is just as we are finishing a punishing mountain cedar and respiratory virus season over the winter. There’s no rest for the sneezy.”

Thursday’s pollen count showed oak, ash and hackberry being the top three pollens but Haden said others such as elm, maple, pine and juniper (mountain cedar) are also irritating his patients.

And there’s bad stuff on the way.

“Over the next couple of weeks we’ll begin see the green, powdery carpet of oak and pecan pollen settling on our cars and sidewalks,” Haden said. “When the ‘cotton’ from the cottonwood trees starts to fall, that signals the beginning of the grass pollinating season. We are just getting started.”

The challenge for allergy sufferers is they want to be outdoors. Parents and kids are outside during the middle of the day playing sports or working in the yard when pollen counts are the highest, Haden said.

Forecasters are calling for a chance of rain this weekend, which might bring temporary relief but there’s really no time in Texas when someone isn’t suffering.

“Where we live, one pollen season melts into the next, then it gets really hot and the summer ozone arrives as an important non-allergic trigger for respiratory symptoms,” Haden said.

For those who are suffering, Haden recommends an over-the-counter nasal steroid and antihistamine.

If the problems persist, sufferers should consider getting tested and may need allergy shots.

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