After a warm, wet winter, the 'allergy apocalypse' has arrived, and we can expect to experience sinus misery for six weeks, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
The culprit, according to allergist Alyssa Arredondo with Texan Allergy in Stone Oak, is oak pollen, which has started its annual spring rain onto our cars, sidewalks, patios, and, unfortunately, into our homes.
She says if you're waiting for it to end, don't hold your breath.
"The oak usually pollinates until mid May," she said. "These warm and windy days are really going to help speading all that pollen around."
She says pollen is made to travel on the spring breezes to help create new oak trees, so it doesn't matter if you live on a Hill Country ranch or in a downtown high rise, expect pollen to be blowing your way.
She says the first place most city dwellers notice it is on their cars in the driveway in the morning. The early morning hours, roughly 5AM to 8AM, are the worst time of the day for pollen, so that's why you are a lot more likely to see it in the morning than on your car in the afternoon.
And she advises not to try to brush it off, just let the wind blow it off your car as you drive.
"If anything, go to a car wash if you have to, but don't brush it off. You'll just breathe it in if you do and you're going to be miserable."
Arredondo suggests some preparation to make the allergy apocalypse a little easier to deal with.
1) load up on antihistamines before you head outdoors in the morning.
2) Limit your time outdoors during the early and mid morning when the pollen counts are the highest.
3) Wash your face and hands after you've been outside to remove pollen. Also, wash or change clothes after you've been outdoors.
4) Bathe and shampoo your hair before you hit the sack to remove pollen from hair and skin. There's nothing sexy about sleeping with pollen. Keep it off y our bedding.
5) Wear sunglasses. Those shades will protect your eyes from pollen when counts are this high.
Arredondo says you will also want to step up your regular housekeeping routine this time of year.
"You definitely should keep attention to your carpets and rugs, vacuuming them on a regular basis."
And try to hold your breath until mid May.