Everything is bigger in Texas, including allergies. Our warm climate is perfect for growing pollen-producing plants and other outdoor allergens that trigger your seasonal allergies, also known as allergic rhinitis.
At Boone’s Heating & Air Conditioning, we know that our coastal city is not free of those spring allergens and the need for air quality testing. To help you understand your allergy symptoms, triggers and ways to manage your exposure, keep reading.
The Worst Corpus Christi Allergens
Local climates greatly affect which allergens are produced, the seasons in which they are present and the impact seasonal allergies have on residents. In cooler climates, the first winter frost stops the production and spread of pollen. Our subtropical climate has short, mild winters that allow many kinds of trees and plants to grow year-round. Because of this, our winters bring little relief to allergy sufferers before spring kicks in.
The most common spring allergy triggers in Corpus Christi are mold and pollens produced from several different kinds of plants during their reproductive cycle.
Many trees begin producing pollen in early spring and continue into summer. Our strong, warm coastal winds spread that pollen far distances, causing many allergies.
The fine, yellow dust that coats cars, sidewalks, lawn furniture and many other surfaces is pollen released by oak trees. Other tree species in our area that spread powdery pollen include pine, birch, ash, elm, pecan, hackberry and hickory.
Common during early summer, at the change of the season, mowing the lawn and walking through tall grass spreads grass pollen. Native grasses that trigger allergy symptoms are broomsedge and big bluestem.
Warm, damp coastal air is the perfect breeding ground for molds. They grow on dead plant matter, like piles of leaves, and damp weather releases them into the air. Major disturbances to outdoor mold sources, like raking leaves, also release mold spores into the air for inhalation.
Effect On IAQ And You
Allergens affect everyone differently, and some people are not at all affected. So, knowing which one(s) trigger(s) your allergies is the main key to battling them. When you inhale fine allergen particles, like pollen, your immune system mistakes it as unsafe and releases antibodies to fight it. This defensive overreaction causes you to experience the following allergy symptoms:
- Itchy, stinging or watery eyes
- Runny or itchy nose
- Coughing or wheezing
- Scratchy or sore throat
- Nasal congestion
- Sinus pressure and headaches
Spending time outdoors and opening windows in your home exposes you to spring allergens and impacts your home’s indoor air quality (IAQ). When your and your pet go outside, allergens collect and stick to your clothing, skin, hair and their fur. Those allergens come inside with you, where they can continue irritating your immune system and circulate throughout your home. Opening windows when the weather is nice also gives them direct access to your home, even if you have window screens, lessening your IAQ even more.
Prevention And Limitation
Allergy symptoms show up right away and stick around as long as you are exposed to the contaminant, sometimes for weeks or months. So even while inside to escape outdoor allergies, your symptoms may continue if allergens have made their way into your home.
Taking preventative measures is the best way to limit your symptoms and reduce the number of contaminants circulating in your home.
Steps you can take to lessen spring allergies:
- Clean your home and linens regularly
- Change your air filters or consider upgrading to a HEPA filter
- Limit outdoor exposure on peak allergen days
- Take allergy medication before symptoms begin
- Keep windows and doors closed on windy or high-contaminant days
- Bathe pets, or wipe them off, when they come inside
- Wash your hands and face or change clothing after spending time outside
- Keep outdoor clothing, like jackets and shoes, near the door
Understanding which pollens and molds affect you most is especially important in your fight against spring allergies. Staying aware of local pollen counts day-to-day lets you know when you need to take extra care to protect your immune system.
Corpus Christi IAQ Services
If you are experiencing persistent allergy symptoms even while in your home, your IAQ may be to blame. Our Boone’s Heating & AC team provides IAQ testing, indoor air cleaners and whole-home air filtration systems. Living in Corpus Christi doesn’t mean you have to suffer from seasonal allergies forever, so call us today to learn more about how we can restore clean, healthy air in your home!