Managing Allergies in the Texas Spring

Spring in Texas brings vibrant blooms, warm temperatures, and unfortunately, an increase in allergens that cause nasal allergies (allergic rhinitis), or eye allergies. These are referred to as “seasonal allergies.”  For many, this season can be a challenging time as pollen counts and mold spores rise, triggering allergies and causing discomfort. However, with the right strategies, you can effectively manage and minimize the impact of allergies during the spring months. In this guide, we’ll explore practical tips and expert advice to help you navigate allergy season in Texas.

Understanding Texas Spring Allergens

Identifying Common Allergens

Pollen: Texas in the spring is notorious for high pollen counts, with oak, cedar, and grasses being major culprits. Identifying which pollens you are allergic to and which of them are prevalent in your area is crucial for effective management.

Airborne Mold Spores: Humidity levels in Texas can contribute to the growth of molds which release spores into the air. Individuals sensitive to mold may experience seasonal allergies during the spring.

Dust mites: these microscopic, insect-like, creatures live in our homes and feed off shedded skin.  Many people are allergic to them or their feces.  They particularly like pillows, bedding, carpets, fabric curtains and fabric covered furniture.  They are a frequent source of nasal and eye allergies in warm, moist locations like our homes.

Strategies for Allergy Prevention

1. Monitor Allergen Counts: Follow daily pollen and other allergen forecasts, available through local weather services or online resources. On high allergen days, limit outdoor activities, especially during peak pollen hours in the morning and evening, and use a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter in your home or office.  You can even buy HEPA filtering devices for your car.

2. Keep Indoor Spaces Allergen-Free: Create a sanctuary within your home by regularly cleaning and dusting. Invest in efficient filters for your HVAC system to trap airborne allergens.  Most central air conditioning systems can be fitted with full HEPA filtration to really minimize the amount of allergens in the air.  Alternatively, there are portable HEPA filter machines that you can move from room to room.  Beds and pillows can be encased in special fabric that prevents allergens from escaping from the pillow or mattress where you sleep.  Consider removing carpets and fabric furniture and curtains or keep them regularly cleaned.  Ensure your vacuum cleaner has HEPA filtration, too.

3. Personal Protection: Avoid being outdoors when your particular allergens are in high concentrations. Consider using a mask to filter out allergens, especially during yard work or outdoor activities.  N-95 respirators are most effective for this purpose.

Natural Remedies for Allergy Relief

1. Local Honey: Unfortunately, there is scant evidence that eating local honey reduces seasonal allergies.  The theory is that eating small amounts of the pollen from you local environment that is found in honey would desensitize you from your pollen allergies.  But in reality, there seems to be little benefit, partly because many seasonal allergies have nothing to do with pollen in the first place.  And, eating pollen is not the same as having pollen land in your nose or eyes.

2. Nasal Rinses: Saline nasal rinses can help flush out allergens and relieve nasal congestion. Use a neti pot or saline nasal spray regularly to keep your nasal passages clear.  This has been shown to be quite helpful and is cheap and has minimal risk of side effects.

Over the counter Remedies

  1. Oral antihistamines come in two types, sedating and non-sedating.  Sedating antihistamines include diphenhydramine (Benadryl), brompheniramine, hydroxyzine and others.  They are very effective at controlling nasal and eye allergies, but as the name reveals, can be quite sedating.  Non-sedating antihistamines include fexofenadine (Allegra), loratidine (Claritin) and cetirizine (Zyrtec).  They aren’t quite as effective but are much less sedating.
  2. Nasal sprays work mostly on the nasal symptoms of allergies and come in two types, steroids and antihistamines.  Nasal steroids include fluticasone spray (Flonase) and triamcinolone spray (Nasonex).  They are very effective at both treating an allergy flare and preventing future flares.  Nasal antihistamines are very effective at treating allergy flares.  The only currently available OTC nasal antihistamine is azelastine (Astepro).

Seeking Professional Help

1. Consult an Allergist: If over-the-counter medications and home remedies provide insufficient relief, consult with an allergist. They can perform tests to identify specific allergens and recommend personalized treatment plans.

2. Prescription Medications: In some cases, prescription medications such as stronger antihistamines, stronger nasal corticosteroids, or allergy shots may be necessary for effective allergy management. Consult your healthcare provider to determine the most suitable option for your needs.


Managing allergies in the Texas spring requires a combination of preventive measures, natural remedies, OTC medications, and in some cases, professional intervention. By staying proactive and implementing these strategies, you can enjoy the beauty of spring without the discomfort of allergies. Consulting with a healthcare professional ensures personalized guidance for your specific allergy concerns. Embrace the Texas spring season with confidence, armed with the knowledge to keep allergies at bay.