(NEXSTAR) — Ah-choo! Spring is approaching and so is a new seasonal allergy season in Texas. While you may be well-versed about the things to watch out for — pollen, mold — there might be airborne baddies you’re forgetting to monitor.
Common seasonal allergens in the winter and spring months include cedar and elm, which release pollen throughout these time periods and usually peak in March or April, as Nexstar’s KAMR/KCIT in Amarillo reports.
“The pollens we are seeing [in Texas] consistently are ash, elm and oak,” Meteorologist Rich Segal at Nexstar’s KXAN explains. “Molds are always an issue… What some people may not pay attention to are tree pollens like beech, box elder, cottonwood, hackberry, hickory, mulberry, pecan, poplar and willow.”
Many of these allergens come from the numerous trees that grow in Texas. Curious how to identify any of these? Texas A&M University Forest Service’s expansive Trees of Texas index features illustrations and instructions for identification.
Segal also noted that dust mites from cats and dogs are hardly ever addressed, though they are of concern for allergy sufferers.
So just how bad are seasonal allergies in Texas?
Several Texas cities were also named among the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America‘s 2022 Allergy Capitals. The yearly report ranks the 100 most-populated U.S. cities based on the severity of allergy seasons.
Texas’ allergy capitals are: McAllen (3), San Antonio (5), El Paso (15), Dallas (28), Houston (34), and Austin (67). The first three cities were ranked among those with “worse than average” allergy seasons, per AAFA.
Texas is also among the states that actually count winter as one of the worst allergy seasons, as the American Sinus Institute explains. Texans’ dreaded “cedar fever” typically peaks between January and February.