Rain knocks out pollen, mold numbers skyrocket


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Rain is a welcome sight in Central Texas. Not just for our lawns and lakes, but for allergy sufferers too. The rain that fell earlier this week, however, may actually make certain allergens worse.

A wet day can clear out pollen but once the rain dries up, mold takes off, according to Eben Soliz with Allergy and Asthma Consultants.

“The rain is definitely going to dampen down stuff for that day and probably the day after but then there’s the upswing after when everything dries up,” said Eben Soliz, a physician assistant. “That’s when people start having more symptoms more problems.”

After Monday and Tuesday’s wet weather, mold reached nearly 6,000 particles per cubic meter of air Wednesday. That’s the high category. Thursday, the count remained high.

Sneezes and sniffles due to mold happen year-round.

“Molds are going to be perennial,” said Soliz. “Dust mites are perennial. Pets indoors, cats, dogs are perennial allergens.”

KXAN Chief Forecaster Jim Spencer often gets asked why we see high mold counts during drought. He says it’s due to Central Texas’ humid climate.

When one seasonal allergen ends here in Central Texas, another begins. Tree pollen winds down in the late spring just as grasses pick up. Weeds come into play in the fall. Cedar affects allergy sufferers in the winter.

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