What allergies are high in waco texas
Cedar and Oak are two top tree allergens that hit Waco and Central Texas hard. But we also see Mulberry, Ash and Elm in the stir.
Cedar season hits just after the first freeze, which in Waco, generally means in December.
The cedar season lasts through early to mid-February.
Oak season starts in tardy March to early April and is known for leaving a light film of yellowy – green dust that covers just about everything from cars, to outdoor furniture and everything in between. Oak season typically dies below around in mid-May.
These start to show up in June and can final through December, with a particularly intense burst of ragweed that generally hits in the drop. Wind-blown ragweed allergens can travel for hundreds of miles. Just one plant produces more than one billion grains of pollen per season.
Grasses are another common allergen that make our Waco pollen counts soar, generally from June to tardy August.
There are numerous types of grasses that can cause grass allergies, and it’s possible to be allergic to more than one type of grass.
Moldthrives in damp, humid, and cool environments, especially in decaying plant matter – leaves and grass clippings, compost piles and rotting, wet wood. Mold spores spread love pollen allergens. Mold spreads easily indoors and with the mild weather in Waco, it can thrive even in winter whereas in other climates it would normally goes dormant until temperatures warm up again.
Click here to see a full list of the allergens in Waco!
Additional Tips to Control Your Allergies in Waco
- Check your Waco pollen count regularly!
There are numerous apps that can easily track numerous cities at once.
- Change your air filters each season, so trapped mold and other allergens do not get released into the house.
- Stay inside with closed doors and windows when pollen counts are at their highest.
- Install aHEPA filter to eliminate harmful allergens and particles.
- Change your clothes and remove shoes when coming in from the outdoors.
- Use a dehumidifier set to hold indoor humidity under 50%.
- Consider replacing indoor carpet with wood or tile.
Being a Waco resident generally means being allergic to one of the numerous allergens in the air.
AtTexan Allergy & Sinus Middle our allergy specialists are highly trained in testing, diagnosing, and treating allergies. If you’re tired of taking over the counter medications with no endless term relief, come see us and request an appointment today!
Kris Bartee, MSN, ACNPC-A
Kris Bartee completed a Bachelor's degree in Biology from Baylor University, followed by a Bachelor's in Nursing from Abilene Christian University. After extensive experience in the ICU, he graduated from Texas Tech University with a Master's degree as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner in 2015. Since then, he has practiced in an Internal Medicine setting. Having lived in Arkansas, Hawai'i, and west Texas, Kris is happy to call Central Texas home again.
A Aspire Allergy & Sinus patient himself, he uses his experience to assist others acquire control of their allergy symptoms.
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FAQs on Pollen
Allergic disease affects one out of six Americans, and costs millions of dollars in medications, physician services and missed days from school and work. Following are some common questions and answers on allergy. If you own any other questions not addressed here or if you need additional information about a related topic, please visit the Academy’s Web site, for information, and consult an allergist.
Can you recommend any medications for my allergies?
The National Allergy Bureau™ does not offer medical advice.
Please consult your allergist to discuss proper treatment of your allergy symptoms.
How do you acquire pollen counts?
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology has a network of pollen counters across the United States. Each counter works under the direction of an AAAAI member and must first pass a certification course provided through the AAAAI. Counters use air sampling equipment to capture air-borne pollens. The number of pollen grains collected are then counted and logged.
When do pollen counting stations reopen for the spring?
Pollen counting stations generally start reporting in March and April, when pollen levels increase to measurable amounts.
The opening date of each station differs slightly from year to year based on local weather conditions. Counting stations in warmer climates generally stay open year round.
Why isn’t a certain station counting?
There are numerous reasons why pollen counting stations don’t count, including technical difficulties with the pollen counting equipment; illness; temporary lack of staff; time away from the office or the station has closed for the season because pollens own diminished to virtually nonexistent levels.
Why is there a disparity between two counting stations in the same city?
There are a number of reasons that could explain the difference, including the time of day that the sample was taken; a change in temperature, wind conditions, humidity or precipitation; or differences in surrounding geography.
- The time of day that aeroallergens are sampled can account for variances in the quantity of pollen measured.
Pollen concentrations are generally highest (between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m) after the dew dries after sunrise to tardy morning. If one station samples at 8 a.m. and the other station samples at 2 p.m., there could be a significant difference in pollen concentration.
- Because pollens are little, light and dry, they can be easily spread by wind, which keeps pollen airborne and carries it over endless distances.
If one station samples when the wind is strong and the other station samples when the wind is calm, there’s bound to be a difference in the pollen levels.
- Weather conditions also affect pollen levels. The most variant factors influencing diverse pollen counts from approximately the same region are wind, humidity, and the proximity of the sampling equipment to pollen producing vegetation.
- When the air is humid, such as during or after it rains, pollen becomes damp and heavy with moisture, keeping it still and on the ground. If one station samples correct before a rain storm, and the other station samples just after it rains, there will probably be a significant difference in the concentration of pollen.
- Proximity of the sampling equipment to pollen producing vegetation.
Samples taken from an urban area, where there is little vegetation, will most likely differ from samples taken from a rural area, where there is more vegetation.
Is the pollen season the same from year to year?
The beginning and ending times of tree, grass and weed pollen seasons are extremely similar from year to year in the same location. Intensity differs every year based on the previous year’s weather, current weather and other environmental factors.
Why isn’t there a counting station in my area?
The NAB is always working to add more counting stations.
The NAB will continue its efforts to enlist additional volunteers to its network of certified counting stations so that most areas of the country are represented.
If a station is x miles from my home, will the counts apply to my area?
It’s hard to provide precise pollen and spore levels for areas not near a pollen counting station. If the climate and geography are similar, chances are the figures reported by the station are a excellent indicator of conditions nearby.
Call it mountain cedar misery.
Very high concentrations of pollen throughout Central Texas this year is resulting in increases of severe allergies.
Because the mountain cedar trees (actually ashe junipers) pollinate during the winter, the season is when allergy sufferers feel its effects most acutely.
Symptoms run the gamut from runny nose to a sore throat, with conditions that feel almost flu-like. And then there’s the incessant sneezing.
This year’s pollen season has been especially punishing, with exceptionally high counts even by the standards of the prolific pollinators.
According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology, there has been a «very high» level of mountain cedar pollen several days running. By comparison, pollen by weeds and grass is «absent.»
Even the much-maligned mold is registering at a «low concentration,» according to the AAAAI’s National Allergy Bureau Pollen and Mold Report which registers its Austin-area counts in nearby Georgetown.
Last Saturday, KVUE reported an eye-popping pollen count level—more than 28,000 pollen grains per cubic meter—that was 15 times greater than the day before.
Gusty northwesterly winds didn’t assist matters.
«You’re just tired every the time, tired and drained,» a extremely hoarse Rachel Zintgraff told the television station. «It’s just something you adapt to when you’re living here.»
Linda Bernhard adapted a few years after moving to Central Texas: «Probably about the three year mark I started not being capable to hold the windows open at night,» she said.
In Central Texas—its landscape abundantly dotted with the so-called mountain cedar—some measure of allergic reaction comes with the territory.
But this year has been ridiculous.
Those living in the region can actually sees layers of pollen upon treetops on years love this.
It’s part of atree tango of sorts, as the male tree casts its pollen into the air from its tiny, rice-grain-sized cones with the silent hopes its essence is carried by the wind into the sticky green cones of the female tree to ensure survival of its species.
Sure, it’s vaguely romantic given its potentially unrequited, windswept ways.
But for those suffering from allergies as a result of the annual mating ritual, it’s a recipe for distress rendering the afflicted with a lethargy that inspires thoughts of never stepping foot exterior ever again.
But there’s some measure of hope.
Short of visiting an allergist, there are some steps allergy sufferers can take to mitigate pollen’s effects.
A number of allergy medications are fairly effective, Cedar X, Zyrtec and Claritin being among the most favorite remedies.
Limiting one’s time outdoors helps too. Once back home from having been outdoors, it’s advisable to take a shower to rid lingering pollen from the body.
There’s further hope just across the horizon: Pollen season typically ends in February.
So, too, will the suffering—until next year’s cedar season.
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N. J. Amar, M.D.
Ephraim Thaller, M.D.
Neil Amar, M.D.
Call (254) 751-1144 to make an appointment.
Today’s Pollen Count: November 26th, 2019
Mold: 1905 (Low)
Weeds: 7 (Low)
Grass: 0 (Low)
Entire Trees: 16 (Moderate)
The Allergy & Asthma Middle, PA has been providing comprehensive specialty care since 1982. The clinic is the premier middle for Allergies, Asthma, and respiratory disorders in the Central Texas Area, including three board-certified Allergists and three satellite clinics which provide finish allergy and asthma care.
What sets our clinics apart is a friendly well-trained staff, a state of the art allergy injection area designed to maximize patient safety, and extended clinic hours for patient convenience.
We are committed to being a patient-centered practice that offers the highest quality service with clinics in Waco, Gatesville, Hillsboro, and Mexia. Our goal is to provide patients with an appointment the same week or no later than two weeks after a request is received.
Ill patients are generally seen the same day, depending on the location.
The Allergy & Asthma Middle employs bilingual staff members. We offer flexible hours during the week and alternating Saturday mornings for patient convenience. We also provide 24-hour coverage in case of an emergency.
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Fifty million people in the U.S. own allergies. Sometimes it feels love every of them live in Central Texas.
For my husband, it’s cedar. For me, it’s oak. But in this corner of the state, with rivers and lakes that hold in moisture, with south and north winds that whip across the wide open fields and with relatively few hard freezes, some part of Mom Nature is generally in bloom.
Every day, both on the website for Allergy Asthma Middle and on its sheet, pollen counts are listed for the Waco area. The January day when I interviewed Dr. Neil Amar, one of three board-certified allergists who practice at the clinic, I knew mountain cedar was at 2,801.
What I didn’t know was that the number wasn’t generated by an algorithm. Someone actually counted the pollen grains.
“There’s a rod on top of our building that collects pollen,” Amar said. “That morning we’ll take that pollen and glance at it under a slide, and then we count — we physically count — the pollen. That’s the numbers you’re reading there.”
Because this process is done by hand, the number posted is actually for the previous day’s pollen. Amar says that for any number above 25, someone who is allergic to that specific trigger will show symptoms. A reading of 50 is high. So 2,801 means that even people who don’t generally suffer from allergies may feel a little out of whack.
Amar grew up in Waco, the kid of two physicians, allergist Dr.
N.J. Amar (with whom Amar practices) and endocrinologist Dr. Meera Amar.
“I went to Midway my whole life, then the final three years I switched to Vanguard,” he said.
Amar attended medical school at The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston (UTMB) and completed his residency in internal medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He followed that up with a fellowship in allergy and immunology at UTMB. The decision to come back to Waco and join his father’s practice was not something Amar initially considered.
His wife, Dr. Ashley Amar, a psychiatrist, led that charge.
“My wife is from South Dakota, a little town, 100 people,” Amar said. “We met in residency in Houston, and it was way too large to her. She wanted to live in Waco. She thought, ‘Oh, yeah, it’s perfect! It has a Walmart!’”
After settling on a ranch exterior of town, Amar agrees that coming home was the correct decision. “I enjoyed coming back,” he said.
Every four Amar doctors work at the same address. Amar’s wife and mom share a waiting room.
“There are four Amars in the building,” he explained.
“We get to see each other every day.”
Amar and his wife own a 15-month-old daughter, Divya, and they hire a babysitter to stay with her at the clinic so that both parents and the grandparents get to spend time with her.
Back in 2010 the Wacoan interviewed Amar’s parents for an article on medical marriages — marriages in which both spouses are physicians. At that time Amar was in residency in internal medicine. I asked why he went on to study allergy and immunology.
“I did internal medicine because I didn’t know what I wanted to do yet. From internal medicine you get to specialize.
I actually thought about doing endocrine, love my mom. My mom does a lot of thyroid biopsies — I just really wanted to treat patients,” Amar said. “Allergy is completely diverse because you don’t go to the hospital at every, and that’s one of the biggest benefits. I don’t love hospitals. And I’m totally OCD. I record these detailed notes, and no one can really read them.”
Unlike internal medicine, which serves mostly adults, Amar likes the mix of adults and children in allergy and immunology.
“This is one of the few specialties where you get to see half kids and half adults. Adults own more nasal allergies; kids own more asthma. I helpful of love the mix. We [allergists] don’t get bored as easily.
Kids do silly things. They make me laugh.”
One reason allergists see so numerous kids is that allergies tend to run in families.
“Almost always there’s a family history — 90 percent of the time there’s a family history of allergies. So we always ask,” Amar said.
He explains that four types of allergic conditions run in families and can grow and change into one another: food allergies, eczema, asthma and nasal allergies.
“If you own one of those conditions, there’s a 50 to 75 percent chance that you own the others of them as well,” Amar explained.
“You’ll own a history of eczema or food allergies. What happens is that’ll get better, then you’ll start developing asthma. Then that generally gets better around age 10, and then you’ll start seeing nasal allergies.”
He adds that nasal allergies, although more commonly found in adults, can be diagnosed in infants.
Because the immune system is still developing in children, it can be hard for parents to know when to make an appointment with a pediatrician and when to consult an allergist.
“Allergies are actually going up in the world. It’s mainly in developed countries,” Amar said. “The reason why is the hygiene hypothesis, that we’re too clean as a people. They’ve done studies on people that grew up on farms, and they own fewer allergies.
It’s because in the extremely first six months of life they’re exposed to more allergens, so they produce more antibodies. People who grow up in an ICU [intensive care unit], it’s too clean an environment.”
He adds that every those antibacterial soaps and wipes — “which I love to use, even though I know better,” Amar said — probably aren’t doing our immune systems any favors.
That being said, even if you do live on a farm with lots of critters, Waco is a particularly bad put for allergies. There are four main allergy seasons, and they beautiful much cover the calendar year.
“The four main ones in our area are mountain cedar in the winter; then spring, oak; summer, grasses, and grass season can be up to 8 months long; and drop, ragweed,” he said.
“That’s why we’re the allergy capital because we don’t get a break.”
If you are allergic to any of those four, or if you own a combination of allergies, as numerous people do, Amar says you may be a candidate for allergy shots.
“Our bread and butter is nasal allergies, allergic rhinitis — that’s the most common patient we see. Generally we do skin testing for that. It’s more sensitive than blood testing,” he said. The clinic uses diverse tests, or panels, for diverse patients. “There’s diverse panels: one for kids, one for adults, one for infants.
Same with food allergies, the same process.”
About half of patients with allergies also own asthma. Those patients will also get a breathing test (actually two tests — one before being given the medication albuterol and then another one afterward) to see if they improve.
“One of the criteria to own asthma is reversibility. With albuterol, you should be back to normal, for the most part. If you own COPD [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease], you won’t see the change,” Amar said.
Asthma affects more than 20 million Americans and at least 7 million children. It can be triggered by smoke, freezing air, exercise and stress as well as typical nasal allergies. That means controlling asthma can be complicated.
“Some people with severe asthma, you can never get their asthma under control unless you control their nasal allergy,” Amar said.
But how do you control nasal allergy? Amar says patients can get confused about how to properly take even prescription allergy medicine. When it comes to over-the-counter remedies, there’s a lot of misunderstanding, especially about antihistamines versus decongestants.
“We worry about decongestants — they’re a huge deal. I wish they were not over-the counter. Decongestants are things love Sudafed, but the problem with those is they only work for a short period of time.
If you use them longer than a week, they don’t work when you take them, so you take more,” Amar said. He adds that the decongestant nose sprays sold in grocery stores are addicting and can cause permanent nasal damage.
Amar recommends people start with antihistamines.
“Nose sprays, love Flonase and Nasacort, are better when used every day — not used as needed. They’re more preventative medicines. They prevent things from getting bad,” he said. Antihistamine pills, love Allegra, Claritin and Zyrtec, work differently.
“The thing is they don’t work for prolonged periods of time.
If you hold using Zyrtec every single day, it becomes less effective, so they work better as needed,” Amar said.
He prefers these second-generation antihistamine pills, which come in non-drowsy, long-acting formulas, to first-generation antihistamines, love Benadryl.
“It’s short-acting and knocks everybody out. People tell it doesn’t, but it does, just love a drink of alcohol. Even one drink makes you a little sleepy,” he said.
He says expectorants, love Mucinex, can be helpful to break up mucus. Nasal saline rinses can be used in conjunction with antihistamine nose sprays.
“A lot of our patients are just on the rinses and shots because they don’t desire to take any medications,” Amar said. He recommends the squeeze bottle rinses over the pot type because they are easier to use and more effective.
Despite several patient inquiries about allergy drops, he does not love them.
“Allergists helpful of frown upon them,” Amar said. “It’s a marketing thing. They’re not FDA-approved. We ponder it’s helpful of bogus.”
After you’ve traveled the over-the-counter route and still feel miserable, that’s when it’s time to consider seeing an allergist.
“When your symptoms are not controlled with medication, that’s when you need to come in,” Amar said.
And if you own asthma and own never seen an allergist, it might be a excellent thought to make an appointment anyway.
Amar describes asthma as “an allergy in your airway.”
“It’s the same mechanism that causes both of them [allergies and asthma]. Asthma has two parts to it: the inflammation part of it, and that’s a similar mechanism to allergy,” he said. “For a lot of people allergy is the trigger for their asthma. What happens in your nose happens in your airway. We treat asthma in the airway and not the lungs. Pulmonologists treat the lungs.”
He says most people with asthma need two medicines: one for the inflammation, which is an inhaled steroid, love Advair or Flovent.
The other is a medicine love albuterol to address construction in the airway.
“You own muscles around your airways, and they constrict [in asthma]. Albuterol only works on the muscle part,” Amar said. “Albuterol can only do so much.”
The kid of a family friend of the Amars died from asthma. He was using his albuterol as a save inhaler, but Amar suspects he also needed to be on a medication to control the inflammation from asthma.
Fundamentally, allergies are part of the immune system.
The website of Allergy Asthma Middle, texasallergist.com, says, “An allergic reaction occurs when the immune system overreacts to an allergen.” If an allergic reaction is just the immune system overreacting, then why do we feel so terrible?
“We own diverse antibodies that fight infection. Immunodeficiency, that’s part of allergy and immunology. We’re trained in that as well,” Amar said.
He explains that there are excellent antibodies and bad antibodies. An antibody called IgG protects the body from infections — it’s the excellent one. Then there’s IgE.
“There’s an antibody called IgE, and it causes allergies.
It was initially there [in our bodies] because it does fight parasitic infections, but otherwise it’s known to cause allergies.
That’s what overreacts; it’s not the excellent antibody — it’s the IgE.”
When the IgE binds to the allergen and then to a cell called a mast cell, histamine is released.
“That’s the bad guy that causes every allergic reactions. That’s why you take antihistamines,” Amar said.
Allergy shots can be a useful tool in building the body’s immune system.
“When you’re on allergy shots, you’re getting a little quantity of what you’re allergic to, and you get higher and higher doses.
You produce less IgE antibodies, the bad ones, so therefore, you own less allergies,” Amar said. “It’s love a spectrum. Your body can only make a certain quantity of antibodies, so which is it going to make?”
Being an allergist does not hold Amar from struggling with allergies. Mountain cedar bothers him, especially when he’s around one of his dogs — a Rottweiler and a German shepherd he describes as “really spoiled.” The dogs own their own room for times when the weather is especially boiling or freezing.
Love most canine pets, they’re inside and exterior. And that back and forth brings in a lot of pollen.
“It’s because the dog is love a carpet, so [the pollen is] highly concentrated,” Amar said, especially on days when the pollen count is high.
He says sometimes people error a dog allergy for what is actually an allergy to pollen in the dog’s hair.
“People don’t realize that if they’re having symptoms around their dog, it’s probably pollen on their dog,” he said, adding, “There’s no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog.”
However, cat allergies are another tale.
“Cat is one of the strongest allergens there are. You could be across the restaurant from the cat lady and own symptoms,” he said. “If you own a cat in your home, and it’s hardwood [floors], you can clean the whole home. You can change as numerous filters in the home as you love — the cat dander can still final up to six months.”
If you suspect you own allergies of any type — pollen, pets, skin, food, even drug allergies — learning more about what kinds of allergens trigger a reaction and when they are likely to cause problems can assist you know how to handle them.
Sometimes it comes below to avoidance.
“If you can avoid something, that’s the easiest way. Sometimes that’s also the hardest, but there’s avoidance techniques you can do,” Amar said. “I ponder once you fail medicine in general, that’s when we recommend you see an allergist and get tested and figure out what you’re allergic to.”
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Signs that you could be suffering from allergies
- Runny nose or nasal congestion
- Itchy, stinging, and watery eyes
- Scratchy throat
- Feeling tired or having trouble sleeping
- Coughing and wheezing
Remember, allergy symptoms can be similar to a common freezing or the flu!
Check out our guide to assist you tell the difference.