NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) — Fall allergens don’t care that the weather is still stifling hot, the ragweed is arriving already — and so are the symptoms.
Dr. Marie Fitzgerald at Family Allergy & Asthma CARE in Flower Mound warns North Texans of the likelihood of getting stuffy noses, even during summer.
“When it’s 100 degrees, you’re not supposed to have any allergies, right? But, that’s actually not true,” Fitzgerald said.
Though, the pollen count does start to come out around Labor Day, Fitzgerald said it’s typically fall weeds.
“It’s typically the fall weeds, such as ragweed, and they will continue until we have our first frost, and in our area that can be all the way to Thanksgiving,” she said.
In fact, Fitzgerald says the so-called ‘allergy season’ in North Texas now covers roughly 11 months of the year. And with ragweed arriving, she’s warning patients to be proactive.
“You can start taking your allergy medicines ahead of time,” she said. “If they’re already in your system, that helps to control the symptoms before the peak season really starts to hit.”
And for Bernice Clary, that could be anytime.
“It’s the trees, and then it’s this, and then it’s when the trees put out the leaves and that… it’s everything,” Clary said.
She went on to explain that she turned to allergy shots when over-the-counter medicines stopped working.
“It really means that their allergies are getting worse over time,” Fitzgerald explained.
So for now, she urges her patients to switch up the over-the-counter antihistamines, as our bodies develop a tolerance to them and they become less effective.
- Nasal steroid sprays are more effective.
- Don’t continue to suffer if symptoms worsen — see a doctor.
- Know that allergy shots are not the only option: new treatments include allergy drops and dissolvable tablets.
Fitzgerald says the new treatments are excellent.
The tablets offer “the same control as allergy shots do.” However, it’s a tablet that one can do at home, she said.
But Fitzgerald cautions the at-home options don’t cover as many types of allergens, so talking with one’s doctor beforehand is recommended.
For Clary, she says the allergy shots have been a ‘quality-of-life’ saver.
“There’s a night and day difference,” Clary said. “Because I tell you what, today you take them, and by tomorrow you’re a different person.”