Allergic to North Texas


Infographic by Acacia Munoz

Acacia Munoz, Staff Reporter

As the leaves start growing on trees, grass turns green, and bluebonnets bloom in North Texas, allergies begin to increase and not everyone is able to fully enjoy the springtime weather.

Allergies occur when an individual’s immune system sees a substance as harmful and overreacts to it. Symptoms include itchy and water eyes, runny nose, coughing, sneezing, the appearance of dark circles underneath the eyes, eye redness, headaches, and wheezing.

The spring flowers along with its pollen are released into the atmosphere. Once an individual is exposed, the pollen travels to the nostrils and immediately irritates the immune system. The body’s immune system then releases antibodies and a chemical known as histamine, which causes the common signs and symptoms of allergies.

No cure has been discovered. Now, the big question is: what can people do to find relief?

Taking allergy medicine ahead of time, limiting your pollen exposure, reducing your stress, committing to a healthy diet and exercise, and giving your home a spring clean are some helpful remedies, according to the Huffington Post.

If nothing seems to be working, then seeing an allergist is recommended. They can test what an individual’s specific allergies are, such as grass or tree pollen. This can determine which treatment can work at their convince.

Some other ways to defend oneself from allergy season is keeping doors and windows shut, using allergy filters on the air conditioning unit, washing one’s clothes and taking a shower after being exposed to pollen and mold spores. Avoiding yard work and exercising outdoors is also highly recommended.

North Texas has been ranked among the worst locations for spring allergies says Dr. John Fling, an allergist-immunologist in Forth Worth, Texas. He believes allergy season is not going to get any better.

Staying alert of your local allergy forecast is another remedy. Trees are often picking up on the change of season. They release small amounts of pollen so the immune system is “primed” to react to all types of outdoor allergens, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

This year’s “Most Challenging Places to Live with Spring Allergies” from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has not been released but last year one of North Texas’ locations, Dallas, was ranked No. 27. The University of Massachusetts Amherst researchers believe the next century will bring more pollen allergies than ever, due to the climate change.

The increase of carbon dioxide levels is shown to raise the production of pollen by 53 percent. Researchers have also search the United States and have come to the conclusion that there is no place completely allergy free, according to Tech Times. The only thing people are left doing is finding their own individual defense to combat the allergies.