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Austin—Seasonal Allergy Capital

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How to deal with pollens

By Jasmin Carina Castanon

ustin is famous for being the live music capital of the world but another lesser-known Austin characteristic is that it is also one of the nation’s seasonal allergy capitals. While the rest of the nation generally only has two pollen seasons (fall and spring), Austin has three—plus an intense winter pollen season. This abundance can completely upstage an allergy sufferer’s entire music festival experience or winter hiking expedition. With Austin’s numerous outdoor events—marathons, Longhorn football games, ACL—knowing what each month can bring is essential to facing and conquering seasonal allergies symptoms head on.

October/ November • Ragweed. In the fall, ragweed plants are Austin’s most sizable pollinators, growing anywhere from 1-2 feet to as much as 20 feet tall. All produce pollen. • Weeds. The weed pollen counts peak around the beginning of October and begin to dwindle around mid-November. There are more than ten kinds of weeds pollinating during this period. • Austin’s weed pollen season is one of the longest in the country.

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All Year • Mold spores grow year-round on any kind of organic matter (such as grass or leaves) as well as on decomposing materials and trash piles. • Mold can grow both outdoors and indoors so the safest place may not always be inside. • Allergic reactions to mold vary from person to person but are generally similar to those of pollens and dust. • Avoid taking jogs or walks near areas that are undertaking any kind of yard work because this generally stirs mold spores into the air.

December • Cedar. The winter cedar pollen counts in Central Texas are the highest of any plant in the world. • Mountain cedar pollen season begins in December and ends on the first of March; peak levels hit in January. • Cedar allergy symptoms are some of the most severe, explaining how cedar allergy got its nickname: cedar fever.

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