Tissues ready: Texas allergists warn of ragweed explosion

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by Ashley Goudeau / KVUE.com

kens5.com

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 9:52 AM

AUSTIN -- Allergists say Central Texans should get ready for an explosion of ragweed pollens in the air soon.

The reason for it is the weather. Allergists say recent rains washed out all of the pollen, but now that the air is dry, ragweed plants are getting stronger. The ragweed allergy season that normally starts in October will now happen in about a week. 

Ragweed is tied with oak as the second most problematic allergy in Central Texas. Allergists say that's because ragweed stays in the air for a long time and when it gets into your eyes and nose, it releases its protein and causes the reaction. 

So the best way to prevent the allergy attack set to happen in a few days is to start taking medication now.

"The people that started on the prescription nasal steroid sprays, things like Flonase and Nasonex who are still taking them now will be ahead of it when the pollen comes back out. If you haven't started that you need to start that immediately because these things take a couple of days to kick in," said Dr. Bill Howland of the Austin Allergy & Asthma Center.

Dr. Howland said the ragweed plants that are here today survived two years of drought, making them stronger than most other plants.

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