AUSTIN (KXAN) - Summer rain showers help break the heat, but there’s alsoa downside. They help mold grow. For summer allergy sufferers, thisyear is very uncomfortable. The moldpollen count has soared.
Itchy eyes, congestion and runny noses are common allergysymptoms. Allergy andAsthma Associates in Northwest Austin are seeing more and morepatients complaining of symptoms that just aren’t goingaway.
“People who get recurrent sinus infections becausethey’re predisposed by allergies, we see that a lot,”said Dr. Doug Barstow with Allergy and Asthma Associates.“They can interrupt your days at work. They cause you not tosleep at night. They can cause you to miss days at work, days atschool. They really can result in very big lifestylechanges.”
Barstow said this year is a big change from 2009 when recorddrought conditions kept the humidity down.
“Last year, we had really dry weather in the summer, whichhelped to keep the mold counts down,” said Barstow. “Ithink that accounts for the lack of mold suffering there was lastyear.”
Mold needs a moist environment to thrive. It grows on just abouteverything. You see it on food, in bathrooms and in basements. But,it also grows on the grass, trees and flowers in your yard.
"Their job in nature is to break all those things down andreintegrate them into the soil,” said Barstow. “Somolds can grow just about anywhere if they have enough moisture.Both molds indoors and outdoors can cause significant mold allergyproblems."
Barstow said when allergy symptoms don't improve or lead toreoccurring sinus infections, it's time to make an appointment tosee a physician. When over-the-counter medications ordoctor’s prescriptions don’t work, allergy shots arethe next option.
It’s an option Austinite, Mark Webb took advantage of.
"I didn’t notice that the molds were high,” saidWebb. “I don’t even pay attention to the reports anymore."
High mold counts are expected to drop until the end thefall.
"As long as we are seeing warm, wet weather, we’ll seehigh mold counts and that’s going to continue,” saidBarstow. “As the weather starts to cool off, as the humiditydrops down, then we typically see the mold counts go down."
A local road project more than two decades in the making won't save drivers as much time as many had hoped.
The University of Texas Board of Regents adjourned Thursday without taking action on the job status of embattled UT President Bill Powers.
Longhorns coach Mack Brown talked with reporters Thursday for the first time since reports surfaced this week that he could be stepping down.
Two men were arrested and a third was being sought by police for the shooting death of 47-year-old Russell Martens.
Parking arrangements are a bit different this year at Austin's Trail of Lights, but there are options to suit just about anybody.
After two hours of discussion regarding the final design for Auditorium Shores, the Austin City Council decided to approve the design on a vote of 7-0 with amendments.