Regional Allergies: Southwestern U.S.

Information on the causes of regional allergies in the Southwestern U.S. and Southwestern US regional allergy symptoms.

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  1. What are Regional Allergies?
  2. Common Allergens in the Southwestern U.S.
  3. Symptoms of Southwestern U.S. Regional Allergies
  4. Diagnosing Southwestern U.S. Regional Allergies
  5. Treatment for Southwestern U.S. Regional Allergies

What are Regional Allergies?

Regional allergies vary depending on the part of the country you live in. Different regions contain different plants and trees that pollinate at different times of the year. The more you know about allergens common to your area and when they are the most troublesome, the easier it is to prevent and treat the associated symptoms.

The Southwestern U.S. region includes Oklahoma and Texas. This region has a very long allergy season. Trees pollinate from early January through June. Grass season begins in April and lasts through September and weeds last from July throughout October.

Common Allergens in the Southwestern U.S. Region

Seasonal allergy sufferers in this region get little to no relief due to lengthy flowering times that keep pollen in the air almost year round. Texas is home to a strong allergen, mountain cedar pollen, which is prevalent from mid fall through late spring.

Common tree allergies include cedar, elm, oak, box elder, mesquite and olive trees. Grasses include Bermuda, wheat and redtop. Weeds in the region include lambsquarters, dock, ragweed, waterhemp, pigweed and saltbush.

Symptoms of Southwestern U.S. Regional Allergies

Southwestern U.S. regional allergies result in hay fever type symptoms like sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, congestion and sinus inflammation. Other symptoms can include headaches, allergic cough, irritability and asthma. The warmer climate results in an abundance of allergens that last throughout most of the year, from January through October.

Diagnosing Southwestern U.S. Regional Allergies

Regional allergies, also called seasonal allergies or hay fever, are based on the time of year. In the Southwestern U.S. region, tree, weed and grass allergies are present from spring through fall. Diagnosis by an allergist usually involves a history of symptoms, timing and exposure. If a detailed history is not enough to make a conclusive determination, skin tests may be used to confirm the diagnosis.

Skin tests involve placing small amounts of allergen extracts just beneath the skin's surface. When allergies are present, a raised bump or minor skin irritation will appear at the site within fifteen minutes. Once the allergens are determined, a personalized treatment and management plan can be established that may include avoiding triggers, the use of medications or immunotherapy depending on the severity of the allergies.

Help for Southwestern U.S. Regional Allergies

Severe regional allergies are often treated with immunotherapy, a series of allergy shots that build up tolerance to allergy triggers. After allergy testing is complete, a personalized serum is developed and shots are given at regular intervals, helping the body naturally build resistance over time.

For those with minor allergies, simple techniques like removing shoes and clothing immediately after being outdoors and showering right away can eliminate pollens and other toxins that attach to skin, hair and clothing. Those who live in the area can benefit from HEPA air filters and vacuums for removing pollens brought in from outside throughout the year.

Antihistamine medications are effective for periodic allergy attacks, but not generally recommended for long-term allergy management. Many people prefer to seek natural remedies for seasonal allergies due to the undesirable side effects these medications cause.

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