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Seasonal Allergies Bringing Year-Round Misery To North Texans

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FORT WORTH (CBS11) - Wondering if your so called 'seasonal' allergies could use a calendar?

No, it's not your imagination. Doctors say that sniffling, sneezing misery is now becoming year-round.

"They're horrible," says Jamie Patch, while enjoying the postcard gorgeous weather with her twin toddlers at Trinity Park in Fort Worth. Patch says the entire family must take allergy medicines daily.

"You always think we live in Texas and Texas is notorious for having bad allergies… and because we don't have much of a winter it doesn't kill them off," says Patch.

Some experts blame global warming for extending the blooming season and that makes allergies linger as well.

"Right now I've been wondering where the winter went this year," says Richard L. Wasserman, M.D., PhD, managing partner of Allergy Partners of North Texas.

According to Dr. Wasserman, the beautiful weather tempts homeowners to throw open the doors and windows to welcome the fresh air. But, if you struggle with allergies, not so fast: those open doors and windows "allow 80 percent of the outdoor pollen count" inside your home.

William Chavez blames his worsening allergies on the "stuff that's in the air, and the wind, obviously." Not so obvious, the connection to his 2-year-old German Shepherd, Harvey.

"If pollen glittered, after your pet had been outside, they would look like they were wearing an evening gown," says Dr. Wasserman. "And they come into the house carrying all of the pollen in their coat and rub up against the people and the furniture and the people-- that's a problem as well…not easily solved."

After all, who wants to bathe the dog every day? But, you can wash the pollen off of yourselves. And Dr. Wasserman recommends doing so immediately, with no time taken to lounge on the sofa.

"If your child stops to lay on the couch and watch TV, all of that pollen will go into the fabric of the couch and then hours later or days later, when they put their face in the cushion, they're going to get another dose of pollen."

Over the counter salt water or saline nasal sprays are recommended to wash the pollen from the nose. Dr. Wasserman also says that allergy nasal sprays are actually more effective than the pills. And even if you're adverse to needles and allergy shots, according to Dr. Wasserman, allergy testing is helpful if only to help sufferers determine those triggers.

Armed with that information, patients can begin taking medication before that particular pollen hits.

After all, allergy misery or not, few North Texans can resist the siren call of crisp, beautiful blue sky days.

"You can't be trapped, especially when you have little ones," says Patch. "They can't stay inside… just suffer with it. Every day."

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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