SAN ANTONIO — It may be April Fool's Day but the oak allergies are not fooling around. The pollen count has been heavy for several days now, and it is making people miserable. That leads us to this claim...
Is it true that it takes several years for a person to develop allergies to oak or other native Texas trees?
- Dr. Amanda Trott-Gregorio, a board-certified allergist and immunologist with Juniper Allergy
- Dr. Edward Brooks, the Medical Director of the UT Health San Antonio Allergy Clinic and the Division Director of Pediatric Immunology and Infectious Disease.
WHAT WE FOUND
Dr. Trott says allergies could start right away or take years. She told us, "Patients either build it starting when they get here and develop allergies, in the next couple of years or they have built it previously, wherever they lived against the pollen that's similar to our pollen so that their immune system can't really tell the difference and their immune system says, oh, this is an allergy, I'm going to react now."
Dr. Brooks agrees and told us, "Those of us who are not allergic develop these sort of protective responses in a natural environment. So you certainly can have a balance of some degree of, you know, full blown allergy and some protective responses. And so, you know, it may take varying time for people to truly develop allergy."
A protective response is when your body's immune system develops a protective barrier to keep some or all allergy symptoms at bay.
So yes, it is true. It could take several years for a person to develop allergies to oak or other native Texas trees. However, the allergy could develop faster, or even much slower, depending on just how allergic a person is to a specific allergen.