DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – There’s usually a silver lining to Texas’ hot, dry summers — no pollen and a break for seasonal allergy sufferers — but, not this year.
“I was working in my yard and noticed that the cedar elm was indeed pollinating,” says Robert Sugerman, MD, an allergist at Medical City Dallas, “and that’s very unusual for this time of year.”
Dr. Sugerman says cedar elm typically pollinates around Labor Day, so the allergen is hitting about six weeks early. “Every year they say ‘this is the worst year ever’. This year, I would tend to agree: this is a pretty bad year,” he adds with a chuckle.
Cyclist John Sadowski, out for his regular 50 mile ride, says he’s already noticed the change in the air. “It’s been a little harder,” says Sadowski, 73. “I went up to Paris two weeks ago and rode like a champ, because? No allergies.”
Dr. Sugerman says many over-the-counter medications are effective, especially if taken before spending extended time outdoors. He also suggests showering as soon as you come inside to avoid spreading the pollen. And if that’s not practical: at least wash your hands and face. He also suggests using a saline nasal spray.
But, Dora Rudberg of Dallas says her allergy symptoms were so bad, that she skipped the drug store and opted for allergy shots with her doctor.
“I’m able to go outside, I can walk my dog, I can do stuff outside and it’s not like my eyes are swelling up,” says Rudberg, “it’s a difference of night and day!”
Thus, allergy sufferers take heart: experts say the cedar elm bloom is usually brief, lasting only a couple of weeks. More pollen now may just mean less to make you miserable when the ragweed hits in the fall.
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