Allergy care in Houston, TX

Top 5 Summer Allergy Triggers in Houston

01 Mar 2024

Many people experience allergy symptoms when spending time outdoors in Houston during the summer months. The hot, humid climate creates the perfect conditions for exposure to common seasonal allergy triggers. Understanding the top allergy triggers can help you take steps to prevent allergy symptoms so you can fully enjoy the summer in Houston. If you do experience severe allergy symptoms or anaphylaxis, our ER in Houston is equipped to provide emergency care.

This blog will cover the top 5 allergy triggers Houston residents are likely to encounter in the summer: grass pollen, ragweed pollen, mold, stinging insects, and sumac plants. We will describe when you are most likely to be exposed to each allergen and the common symptoms they cause. Read on for tips to reduce your contact with these common triggers and manage allergy symptoms if they occur. 

Grass Pollen

Grass pollen is one of the most common causes of seasonal allergies in Houston during the summer. Grass pollen levels are usually at their peak in late spring and early summer when various grasses in the area are pollinating. When you inhale airborne grass pollen, it can trigger allergy symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and sinus congestion. Some people also experience symptoms like coughing or headache from grass pollen exposure.

To reduce coming in contact with grass pollen, limit your time outdoors in the early morning when pollen counts are highest. Keep windows closed and use air conditioning at home and in your car. Avoid grassy areas and take a shower immediately after spending time outdoors just to clear away pollen from your skin and hair. Over-the-counter antihistamines and nasal steroids can also help manage grass pollen allergy symptoms. 

Ragweed Pollen

Ragweed plants are another major source of summer seasonal allergies in Houston. Ragweed pollen season typically runs from mid-August through October. Ragweed pollen is very light and airy. It can travel far distances in the wind, making it difficult to avoid exposure, especially on hot, dry, windy days. Common ragweed allergy symptoms include runny nose, congestion, sneezing, and irritated, itchy eyes.

To control your contact with ragweed pollen, monitor pollen counts and limit time spent outdoors when counts are high. Keep the windows shut, use air conditioning in your home and car, and change clothes after spending time outside. Antihistamine medication can help manage ragweed allergy symptoms. Some people may benefit from allergy shots to help desensitize their immune systems to ragweed pollen. 


Houston’s hot, humid climate also makes it prime territory for mold growth both indoors and outdoors. Exposure to airborne mold spores can trigger allergy symptoms like coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, and upper respiratory irritation in sensitive individuals. Mold levels peak in humid summer months.

To limit mold exposure, use air conditioning and dehumidifiers to reduce indoor moisture. Check for and eliminate sources of excess moisture, like roof leaks and plumbing issues. Clean bathrooms, basements, and other damp areas frequently using a bleach solution to kill mold. Check window air conditioning units and clean mold from filters. Many over-the-counter allergy medications can help reduce mold allergy symptoms. 

Stinging Insects

Summer is peak season for stinging insects like bees, yellow jackets, hornets, and wasps. If you have an allergy to insect stings, exposure can trigger a potentially life-threatening anaphylactic reaction. Allergic reactions cause symptoms like skin reactions, swelling, trouble breathing, dizziness, and stomach cramps.

Reduce your risk of insect stings by avoiding brightly colored clothing, perfumes, and scented soaps outdoors. Wear shoes outdoors at all times. Avoid drinking sweet beverages outside and check that trash receptacles have tight lids. Keep your food always covered until you are ready to eat. Learn the signs of anaphylaxis and carry emergency epinephrine if you have a severe insect sting allergy. 

Food Allergies

When you eat something you’re allergic to, your immune system, thinking it’s protecting you, launches an attack. This can lead to symptoms like itching, swelling, and in severe cases, trouble breathing or a sudden drop in blood pressure, which can be scary and dangerous. It’s like your body’s alarm system going off by mistake, causing confusion and chaos internally. Foods like peanuts, tree nuts, milk, and shellfish are the usual suspects, but any food can potentially be a troublemaker. If you or someone you know starts feeling odd after eating, it’s crucial to take it seriously and seek help immediately. Emergency room teams are pros at calming these immune system storms, ensuring you’re safe and sound. Always remember, when it comes to food allergies, it’s better to be cautious and informed. 


Seasonal allergies are common for Houston residents and visitors who spend time outdoors in the summer. Know the top allergy triggers like pollen, mold, stinging insects, and plants to take steps to prevent exposure and manage symptoms. See an allergist about allergy testing and possible immunotherapy if your summer allergies are severe. Memorial Village Emergency Room is open 24/7 to help if you experience a severe allergic reaction. With some awareness and prevention, you can minimize allergy suffering and fully enjoy the summer months in Houston.


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