Brutal ragweed season expected for this fall

Ragweed (KXAN Photo)
Ragweed (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The official start of autumn, also known as the “Fall Equinox,” is Thursday, Sept. 22. However, with a change in season, comes a change with allergens in the air.

Dr. Thomas Leath, physician and owner of Allergy & Asthma Associates, tells us, “We’re entering the fall pollen season, which usually starts with Fall Elm.” Dr. Leath also says that shortly after, ragweed follows right behind. This is a trend we’ve seen in our recent pollen count over the past few weeks in Central Texas.

However, allergists believe that ragweed could really get out of control in the coming weeks.

“For the last several years our ragweed suffering patients have had a little bit of a reprieve with the drought,” says Dr. Leath, “but this fall we’ve had enough rain that it should be a bad season.”

In addition to ragweed becoming the dominant allergen after it rains, Dr. Leath says that the peak of ragweed season typically arrives towards the end of September and the beginning of October. Which is also a very popular time of year in Austin. In particular, outdoors at Zilker Park!

“So the peak of the ragweed season often will correspond with ACL, the festival downtown.” Dr. Leath tells us. “So if you suffer from ragweed or other fall allergies, plan ahead.”

If you know you have problems with seasonal allergies, allergists advise that you get started on your medications before the seasons hits, or before your symptoms start to get bad. Dr. Leath stresses, “That ounce of prevention can go a long way toward relieving your suffering further into the season.”

Allergists say Ragweed season will typically end if we have a hard freeze. Otherwise we’ll have to wait for the pollen to taper off, which can sometimes take us all the way in to pre-Cedar season.

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