On a warm breezy day in North Texas, that sniffle you feel is courtesy of what's in the wind.
"Ragweed is the worst culprit," said Dr. Rajiv Pandit, an ear nose throat specialist at Methodist Dallas Medical Center. "One plant can produce one billion grains of pollen in one season and ragweed can move for hundreds of miles."
You likely already know the nearly year-round warm weather and windy, flat terrain in North Texas makes for a long and intense allergy season. Pandit pointed out that September is especially difficult for allergy sufferers.
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"With the mold we see in September, and more viruses as kids go back to school, and it's a recipe for airway disaster," he said.
Those factors culminate around the third week of September, known as Peak Weak. It's particularly uncomfortable for those with asthma.
"It can be pretty severe and so people with those issues should be carrying an inhaler with them," Pandit said.
He said he carries an inhaler in September and October when his allergy-induced asthma symptoms worsen.
"It can be serious, especially for people with acute asthma reaction. If you're outside for a few hours in the middle of the day and the wind is blowing, that can precipitate a reaction," Pandit said.
He also stressed avoidance with patients. He recommended they wear a mask when working outdoors to help limit exposure to ragweed. He said using an air purifier and nasal irrigation can help too.
Those feeling symptoms, but unsure if they're allergies, may consider getting tested. If a patient knows what specific allergens cause a reaction, they can better avoid them.