2020 NASPA Annual Conference

ATX Allergies


Runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, sneezing, congestion, headache, and fatigue. These are the symptoms that plague Austin residents with sensitivities to allergens in the air.

Newcomers to Austin are frequently warned about the possibility of developing allergies within the first three to five years of residing in the city. While NASPA Annual Conference attendees may not be planning to stay as long, many may still experience temporary symptoms from the various allergens that thrive in springtime: pollen from oak, ash, elm, and cottonwood. Check out Austin Regional Clinic’s Austin Allergy Calendar for more season-specific information.

The most visible is the yellow-green pollen of oak trees that coats cars and outdoor furniture and the fluffy seed clusters that float off of cottonwood trees; although the seeds themselves do not trigger allergies, it’s a good visual indicator of cottonwood pollen.

Conference attendees who already experience allergy symptoms should consult their primary healthcare provider to create an individualized plan in preparation for the trip to Austin. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America provides two suggestions to prevent or treat allergy symptoms:

  • Over-the-counter or prescription allergy medicines – some of these work best if you start taking them before the allergy season begins
  • Immunotherapy – there are shots or tablets available that are a long-term treatment for pollen allergy. It can help prevent or reduce the severity of allergic reactions.

The good news: Attendees of the 2017 NASPA Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas may have little to worry about. San Antonio ranked higher on the 2019 list of “The Most Challenging Places to Live with Spring Allergies” at #14, so you can expect to breathe easier in Austin, which placed #69.

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