“It’s our annual Houston ritual right around this time of year, giving the car wash business quite a boost.”
Dr. David Corry, an allergist at Baylor College of Medicine, says the green stuff that’s right now covering cars and driveways all over the Houston area is mostly pollen from oak and pine trees.
And it’s not only giving the car wash business a boost but also to practices like Dr. Corry’s, which has seen a large increase in allergy symptoms.
“People coming back have gotten used to the idea of discontinuing their usual allergy medications over the winter because there’s much less allergen in the air in the homes for many, but not all patients, but come spring time with the sudden synchronized release of all this pollen, suddenly those allergies come back.”
Corry says this pollen shedding usually subsides within two to three weeks. But that doesn’t mean the end of the pollen season, as other plants will start shedding theirs.
“We typically tend to see two peaks in pollens that tend to promote increased visits and that is right in the beginning of spring and then closer towards the end of summer.”
He says several factors weigh into Houston being a hotspot for allergies from pollen, including the warm and humid climate and the fact that Houston is an international city. He says many people bring with them plants from all over the world, which contribute to the pollen burden.