Oak Allergies

Oak allergies peak from February through late May

In Austin, winter is cedar fever season, but there may be another culprit behind your red nose and itchy eyes – oak allergies. In our area, you’ll find live oaks and southern red oaks, also known as Spanish oaks. These trees produce a considerable amount of air-borne pollen. Before an oak tree produces its leaves, it produces catkins, which are long clusters. If you park your car near an oak, you may come back to a cover of yellow smudges, thanks to the pollen.

What are the symptoms of oak allergies?

Oak allergies produce the same symptoms as other pollens; our Austin allergists refer to this as seasonal allergic rhinitis.

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Cough
  • Post nasal drip
  • Itchy eyes, nose and/or throat
  • Swollen and/or watery eyes
  • Dark circles under the eyes

Our Austin allergists usually perform skin testing to diagnose oak allergies

When you come to our office with symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis, our Austin allergists may suggest allergy testing. The most common type of testing we use for oak allergies is allergy skin testing. The IgE skin test is performed in our office, always under the supervision of our Austin allergists.

Treatment ranges from over-the-counter medications to allergy shots or drops

When we have made our diagnosis, depending on the severity of your symptoms, we will recommend treatment for your oak allergies that provide symptom relief.

  • Over-the-counter medications such as antihistamines and decongestants may work for patients with mild symptoms.
  • Prescription medications such as nasal corticosteroids reduce inflammation. There are other prescription medications we may recommend as well.
  • Patients with moderate to severe symptoms who do not find relief from medications may need allergy shots or allergy drops.

Any patient who suffers from oak allergies should practice preventive measures to help reduce the symptoms of oak allergies. These suggestions are effective for all pollen allergies.

  • Check the pollen count each day on our website and avoid outdoor activities as much as possible when the count is high.
  • Keep windows and doors closed in your home and car to keep pollen out.
  • Wash pollen from your hair and body each night, especially if you have been outdoors.
  • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from airborne pollen.

Our Austin allergists provide expert care for patients with oak allergies

Allergies can cause serious health problems if left untreated. Don’t ignore your symptoms or those of your family – treatment is available to relieve your symptoms. Contact us for more information about oak allergies.

Fall 2015 Allergy Outlook on KXAN

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Fall begins September 23rd, but fall allergens have gotten a head start in Central Texas. Four major types of pollen affect the area during each autumn season. Dr. Douglas Barstow with Austin Allergy and Asthma Associates predicts will be a heightened pollen year for fall elm.


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