January 27, 2023

Who to Be, What to Do, And Things to Know About Harker Heights and Temple in 2023

Who to Be, What to Do, And Things to Know About Harker Heights and Temple in 2023

January as it marks the beginning of a new year, is by far one of the most exciting months! Children start new school semesters, adults may begin new jobs in new locations, and everyone is setting resolutions to make this year better than the last. Depending on your industry, there are quite a few cities you may find yourself moving to in the new year. With new cities come new opportunities, new experiences, but also for those who suffer from allergies, new allergens and triggers to be aware of. Harker Heights and Temple are two such cities you find yourself in!

Jobs in the Harker Heights area:

The City of Harker Heights is a dynamic, actively growing community located in the fifth fastest growing Metropolitan Statistical Area in the State of Texas (source: POLICOM Crop Study). Harker Heights has experienced historic residential and commercial growth over the past few years.

Harker Heights continues to strengthen its economy! Currently health care, education, retail, and government institutions dominate the list of Harker Heights’ largest employers.

Major Employers Include:

  • III Corps & Fort Hood
  • Military Defense Contractors
  • Seton Medical Center Harker Heights 
  • Freedom Urgent Care
  • WellStone Health Partners
  • KISD
  • Target 
  • City of Harker Heights
  • H-E-B
  • Walmart Corporation
  • Sam’s Club
  • Indian Oaks Retirement Community
  • Baylor Scott & White Health
  • Central Texas Orthodontics

Top 3 Things to do in the Harker Heights and Temple area:

  1. Take a Dip at Stillhouse Hollow Lake. The lake’s 6,430 acres of surface area is ideal for a refreshing dip on a hot Texas day. The lake is a great spot to view nature in its purest form because there are few paved beaches. Many birds, including great blue herons, mallards, mallard ducks, Canada geese, and other songbirds, make the lake their home. In addition to fowl, many fish can be found in this dep water home including largemouth and smallmouth bass, catfish, and others. The lake is surrounded by trails that allow tourists to explore the surrounding natural environment and see some local flora and fauna on their schedule.
  • Explore Dana Peak Park. Dana Peak Park covers an area of around 560 acres. There are approximately 110 acres within the park limits that are developed. Dana Peak Park’s amenities include boat ramps, bathrooms, pavilions, picnic areas, grilling stations, sandy beaches, and hiking and biking paths.
  • Have a Picnic at Harker Heights Community Park. To clear one’s mind and escape the daily grind, a trip to Harker Heights Community Park is highly recommended. Ballfields, strolling pathways, and a temporary brook running through it make it an ideal public place. Many chairs and picnic tables may be found. The pavilion at the Community Park, which is located closest to the playground, can accommodate 150 people. Organize a family reunion, wedding, or birthday celebration at our facility. The Recreation Center accepts first-come, first-served reservations for the park’s amenities.

You may have discovered these allergens:

Residents of the Harker Heights and Temple area enjoy a spectacular array of year-round outdoor activities. Getting lost in the splendor of nature is easy to do with over 135 parks and endless hike and bike paths, but seasonal allergies sometimes spoil the outdoor fun.  The Harker Heights and Temple area boast an impressive menu of airborne allergens that wreak havoc on people throughout the year.

Trees spring to life after our region’s short and relatively mild winter, bringing tree pollen problems January through June. A peak near the middle of March usually results in cars, backyard grills, sidewalks, and nearly everything else covered in a greenish-yellow film of oak and pine pollen. Elm, hackberry, ash, pecan, and cedar trees also impact Harker Heights and Temple residents. Warm, dry, and windy conditions are a spring allergy-sufferer’s enemy because that is when pollen really gets tossed around in the air.

Grass pollen joins the allergen party March through July. As weather conditions bring about faster grass growth, frequent lawn mowing churns everything up and throws the pollen as well as dust into the air. The majority of grass allergy problems come from Timothy, Bermuda, Bahia, Orchard, Sweet Vernal, Red Top, and some Blue Grass. These allergenic grasses are most prevalent on roadsides and in abandoned areas. Luckily, the most popular grass for lawns in Texas, St. Augustine, is not allergenic.

Just as grass pollen levels die down, weed pollens make their presence known starting in August. Ragweed in particular is the worst offender. Given the chance, it will grow taller than a person and produces a ton of potent pollen that can spread hundreds of miles away. Weed pollen levels usually peak in late September and subside in November with the cooler weather.

High humidity levels along the Texas Gulf Coast mean molds cause more allergy problems in our area than in many other parts of the country. Molds thrive in damp conditions and can be highly allergenic. They peak here in the fall but can be found year-round.

Living among nature’s beauty in the Harker Heights and Temple area does not doom you to suffer from hay fever (allergic rhinitis) forever! If you find yourself experiencing persistent allergy symptoms like runny nose, sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, and congestion around the same time(s) each year for weeks or even months at a time, you may be one of many Texans battling seasonal allergies. One of the Harker Heights Allergy’s highly trained physicians will guide you through the process of identifying your allergy triggers. Based on your allergens and symptoms, an individualized treatment plan will address your needs. Medication can work wonders in some patients. Others choose immunotherapy (allergy drops or allergy shots), which builds up your body’s immunity to an allergen over time. Come in to see us before your allergy symptoms start for the season so we can help you win the allergy battle!

How we can treat you:

Biologics – Allergy and immunology treatment options continue to expand, thanks in large part to a drug class called biologics. Derived from living organisms, these medications can target specific components of the immune system and prevent inflammation that causes a variety of conditions. Harker Heights Allergy Associates’ specialists stay up-to-date on the latest advancements in the field. We offer several biologics that provide a beacon of hope for some patients whose conditions, including severe asthma and eczema, have not responded well to traditional treatments.

Allergy Shots – When allergy medicine and avoidance do not provide sufficient relief, allergy shots can make all the difference in a patient’s quality of life. They are not a quick fix, but many people find them to be well worth the time and effort. They can desensitize your immune system to pollen (trees, grass, weeds)insect stingspet dander, dust, mold, and cockroaches. Removing these allergic reactions can result in relief from asthma, eczema, ear issues, and sinus troubles exacerbated by allergies.

Allergy Drops – Oral allergy drops have proven safe and effective for patients facing rhinitis, asthma, and eczema caused by airborne allergens including grass, pollen, ragweed, pet dander, mold, and dust mites.

Meet Our Providers

Dr. William Long is an allergist and immunologist from Belton, Texas. He served as the chief of allergy, asthma, and immunology service at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii before returning to central Texas to practice medicine. Dr. Long was activated with the 4005th US Army Hospital for Desert Storm and Operation Joint Endeavor during the Bosnia Peace Effort. He retired from the US Army Reserves and now enjoys spending time with his family, church activities, boating, flying, scuba diving, and watching Baylor sports.

Megan Ruhnke, PA-C is an enthusiastic, board-certified physician assistant with over 4 years of experience in allergy, asthma, and immunology. She is determined to find the most simple but effective treatment plans that provide long-lasting relief for her patients. She enjoys listening to and educating her patients regarding their disease. She is a devoted wife and mother. She enjoys CrossFit, wake-surfing, and playing the piano.

We look forward to serving you in 2023.