It is summer's last stand here in North Texas. Light wind. Abundant sunshine. For some, this weather is glorious.
For others, it's misery.
"It's all I talk about with my friends in class," says Emily Head, who has allergies. "I'm like, 'I'm dying.' They're like, 'me too.'"
Head, who goes to TCU, had just finished her appointment at the university health center when we met up with her Friday. It was allergies that had brought her to seek medical attention.
"My mom was like, 'You have to go. I'm tired of hearing you complain about this,'" she says. "The past two years it's just absolutely killed me, worse than it's been in a really really long time."
And it's not in her head.
"It seems to be getting worse every year," says Dr. James Haden, a Fort Worth allergist. He says mild winters and summer, plus rain, allows ragweed to keep growing. That translates to some miserable symptoms.
"Nasal congestion, sneezing, drainage, coughing. But especially the eyes this fall so far," Dr. Haden says.
So what if you love the outdoors, you don't want to spend your weekend inside, but your allergies are killing you? We asked the doctor for his best advice at getting you feeling better, quickly.
"Make sure you’re taking your medications before you’re exposed to your allergens," he says. "Wear wraparound sunglasses to protect your eyes from the pollen as much as you can."
And after you've been outside?
"Take off the clothes covered in pollen. Rinse your hair out-- pollen will stay in your hair a long time. And then if you have nasal irrigation, a sinus rinse, that’s a great thing to do also."
He recommends avoiding going outside during the windiest parts of the day.
For Head, staying inside is not an option right now.
"I'm just going to have to grin and bear it. It's parents weekend at TCU," she says, adding she hopes the medicine kicks in soon.
And as much as we hate to end the story on a bad note, Dr. Haden says ragweed season doesn't end until late November or the first freeze, whichever comes first.
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